Most businesses look to scale up their business. While the amount and type of scale may differ with each business, it generally cuts across 4 key goals:
•Excellent Customer Experience
It doesn’t matter what the current size of your business is, you can leverage technology in your business to help you increase your scale in the areas above. High costs of running a business mean that the best way to achieve these goals is to leverage technology. This simply means using technology to make the day to day running of your business more effective and help you adapt quickly to changes in the environment.
Advances in tech over the last few years have made fairly sophisticated technology available to a wider audience. Because consumers now have a higher expectation of the businesses they patronise, small and medium-sized businesses have to step up their game to meet the customer expectations.
How can you leverage technology for your business? The first step is to have a goal in mind, what do you want to achieve – increase efficiency, provide better services, streamline sales and marketing processes? Once you decide what you want to achieve, the next step is to explore what’s available to help you achieve your objective. Here are a few suggestions for you.
- Use the Cloud– Stop storing documents in paper or on someone’s laptop. Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello are all examples of cloud technology, which allow you to store documents online. This means everyone that’s required can have access to the necessary documents – 365, 24/7 – whether they’re in the office or not.
- Have an online meeting/ conference call –Is that physical meeting really necessary? Why go through 2 hours if traffic for a 15-minute discussion? Skype, Google, Zoom, WhatsApp allow you to have audio or video conferences, share documents to discuss online which gives you more flexibility and mobility.
- Have an Online Presence, Use Social Media– Chances are your business is still in its fairly early stages and you’re not the only person that does what you do. So how do you stand out in a crowded space? Using social media effectively make it easy for people to find you without having to physically come to you. These days having an online presence is essential for your business, and fortunately, there are several options to choose from; don’t use ‘I don’t like Facebook’ as an excuse not to have a social media presence. At a minimum, you should have a functional Facebook and Instagram page. If you’re savvier, you can shake up to a fully responsive website and blog (to keep the conversation with your customers going), a LinkedIn presence, and a Twitter handle if you can manage it.
- It’s all about data– Use the information you get from your customers through personal/online interaction and surveys to make their experience with you better. Listen to what your customers are saying to help you make the right decisions, provide great services/products, and ultimately make a profit.
- Upgrade your Hardware– Invest in good laptops, desktops and mobile devices, among others. You don’t have to get the latest and most expensive, but they should be compatible with the applications and systems we’ve talked about here so you can make the most of them for your business.
If you begin taking these steps and use the tools diligently, your business will certainly reap the rewards.