3 Ways Small Businesses Can Succeed with the Right Technology
Happy Small Business Week! Many may not realize that large impact that small businesses have on our economy and our job market. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 28 million small businesses in America, accounting for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. While we may not initially think of small businesses as large employers, they actually make up 55 percent of all U.S. jobs. That is pretty remarkable. Broadview is lucky to work with many small businesses from all over the country. We have see first-hand their struggles of limited time, resources, staff and budgets, and how these challenges can impact a business.
Thankfully, with advances in technology, small businesses today have access to tools that can help streamline operations and enhance productivity, without breaking the bank. With new and more efficient capabilities within reach, even the smallest of businesses can compete with the largest enterprises.
Here are 3 ways every small business can succeed with the right technology in place.
1. Project a larger image
Many people love to support local, small businesses. However, if you are just starting out and operating out of your basement, or a small rented space, portraying your business as legitimate and larger than it really is, can be vital to your success. Invest time into areas beyond your physical presence. Your online presence, for one is key. Invest time into your website, social media outlets and other online profiles like Yelp, Google and industry-specific sites where customers may search to find you. Make sure your business message is clearly defined, your branding, logo and color usage is consistent, and most importantly, that your information is up-to-date and accurate. Make sure customers can find you everywhere they search and that contacting you is easy. Speaking of contacting you, while you may not have someone available to man the phones 24/7, ensure you have a phone system that allows you to utilize auto attendants to help answer and route calls. Auto attendants not only ensure every call is answered professionally, no matter who is available, but can provide callers with the information they may be seeking, like hours and directions, without interrupting you or your employees.
2. Enable Collaboration
While we all wish we could be in multiple places at one time, it’s just not possible. Many small business owners struggle with this, often wearing too many hats and attempting to be everywhere at once. Business owners and their employee's time can be distributed easily by taking advantage of the variety of technology options available. Regardless of the type of business you have, or your budget, there are cloud-based communications and collaboration tools, customer relationship management software and project management tools available that will not only allow you to work and manage your staff remotely, but enable your employees to work from anywhere, from any device efficiently. This flexibility will allow everyone’s time to be used more effectively, enable more workers without requiring the high price tag of rent, and allow you to expand your business, without the overhead costs.
3. Advertise your Business
A business will only continue to grow when you promote it. Every business, but especially a small business, should take advantage of all the free ways to promote it. As mentioned earlier, your online presence; your website and social media are obviously great free ways to advertise, but another easy and effective method is to promote specials, discounts and upcoming events through on-hold greetings. When customers are on-hold, instead of playing music or worse, having silence, take advantage of this time to promote specials and upsell callers on your products or services. You have customers and prospective customers already engaged; this is a prime time to advertise and speak to them directly.
Small business owners are passionate entrepreneurs who can sometimes find themselves overwhelmed trying to manage everything simultaneously, while also trying to compete with big league companies. Fortunately, technology helps to level the playing field.
For more information on how communications technology specifically can help your small business compete, check out our post 7 ways small businesses can benefit from a UC solution.