Technology is ever evolving and, more than ever before, businesses large and small need to stay on top of new developments to stay competitive.
It is a fact that those business owners who fail to make use of the latest technologies will often fall behind in comparison to those who adopt innovations at the right time.
In today’s article, we look at six technologies that have become a must-have for any small business.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Since businesses are all about relationships, how well you build them will likely determine how successful you are.
A CRM system is software that allows you to manage and analyse its own interactions with its past, current, and potential customers, storing contact details and notes on past interactions as well as automating marketing processes, such as mailouts. CRM can provide several benefits to businesses including increases in revenue, customer retention, lead conversion, and decreased marketing costs, etc.
Make sure you first try out a few different CRM solutions by utilising trial offers and then decide on the one which seems most suitable for your business and offers the best value for money.
Voice over IP
Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone systems have been one of the great equalisers for small and large businesses of the past few years.
Not only are internet-based phone calls significantly cheaper than landline calls, but the systems themselves are significantly more affordable too.
Modern VoIP telephone systems offer a wide range of features as standard, previously only enjoyed by the largest businesses, features like automated switchboards, ring groups, call recording, wallboard displays, in-built conferencing, and hold music.
Even better though, most VoIP systems nowadays come with smartphone applications too, allowing you to take your business number with you anywhere.
There is little worse as a business than having a customer be unable to transact with you because you cannot offer their desired payment method. You not only lose out on a sale, but it leaves your would-be customer frustrated and shows your brand in a bad light.
These days, all customers opt for those payment methods which are most convenient to them, and as a business owner, you must offer them the flexibility to choose their desired method. Make sure you offer them options like credit card terminal and online payment gateway. Most people avoid carrying too much cash and credit cards; online payment is often considered safer and more hassle-free.
Some online payment gateways that you can include are PayPal and Securepay, etc.
It may have started as a platform that allowed friends and family to communicate and remain in touch, but social media has slowly taken the form of one of the biggest and most effective business communication tools.
Social media can be used not just for marketing but also for maintaining contact and receiving feedback from customers. It is a great medium to both attract potential customers, connect, and convert them into leads.
It is interesting to note that 63% of small businesses believe that social media helps to find and maintain more loyal customers. Social media is, basically, a great tool to engage customers and a fully engaged customer has a more emotional attachment with a business.
The trick to good social marketing is to be consistent. Dipping your toe in every now and again won’t do much good for you at all, but ensuring that you release a steady flow of content over an extended period will slowly and surely start to pay dividends and will continue to do so.
It may sound a very basic thing, but a website is probably the single most important marketing avenue for any business, irrespective of the size of your organisation.
Not only does a lack of a website kill the company’s visibility to a large extent, but it also creates an impression that the business may not be digitally advanced and hence not trustworthy. Furthermore, a well-designed and professional website gives the impression of a professional business and gives potential customers confidence to try you.
A website reaches out even to those customers who are located outside the current locale and thus helps cover a much larger ground it terms of marketing and promotion. Your website will be the first port-of-call for virtually any person or company interested in your business and will very likely be a key factor in their decision whether to contact you.
Make sure that you have an efficient and mobile-friendly website and invest in good search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure that you can be found organically (i.e. not paid results) on the first page on the most popular search engines (Google, Bing & Yahoo) for search terms that best apply to your business. There is a popular phrase in the SEO community that goes “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2” – this is because so few people will ever bother to look there.
Another useful technological advancement that every business should utilise nowadays are location-based tools and services. Many businesses prefer to do business with other local businesses when they can, thus it is important to localize your web presence for maximum effect.
There are many good location services out there including Google “My Business”, Yellow Pages, and Yelp, among others.
To make use of these platforms, you should make sure to enter your exact business type, address, and contact details as well as details of the products and services that you offer and how customers can reach you in terms of your directions. This will help you receive more enquiries and will hence prove to be useful for your business.
If you wish to grow as a business, it is important that you make use of all the technologies available to you. Without these tools, you are likely to be side-lined by other similar businesses that are moving ahead with technological times.
Want more advice?
If you would like more advice on IT for your small business get in touch…
- Visit https://www.supremesystems.co.uk/
- Call Supreme Systems on 0121 309 0126
- Email us at email@example.com
- Follow Supreme Systems at https://www.linkedin.com/company/supremesystems/
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- Unlimited telephone & remote access IT support
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About the author…
Julian has over 20 years of experience as a technical salesperson for IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and likes nothing more than a cup of coffee and a chat about how to cure your IT headaches.
Supreme Systems is an information technology company established since 2008.
Leading IT Services provider and Cloud solutions for businesses in West Midlands.