5 Ways Technology is Helping Small Businesses Boost their Revenue
Technology has truly revolutionized how small businesses work. Before technology was this accessible, small businesses relied solely on word of mouth and in-person marketing techniques to put themselves out in the marketplace.
But, this has drastically changed with the advancement of technology. Small businesses have found easier ways to reach out to their customers, and in return boost their revenue.
Technology has not only helped increase customer reach but also in other aspects of the business like sales, studying business growth, competitor research, etc.
Keep reading to know more about how technology has assisted small businesses and how you can implement these techniques in your business as well.
Here are 5 ways in which small businesses are using technology to boost their revenue:
Connecting with customers and businesses
Revamping marketing tactics
Managing customer data in one place
Connecting with customers and businesses
As a small business owner, you might not have a whole lot of time to connect and network with people in a conventional way.
But connecting with your potential customers and other small businesses is an important aspect of any growing business.
Up until the last decade or so, connecting with people usually meant sending out postcards for an event or free samples out to potential customers and other possible collaborative businesses, sometimes just to get cold replies or no replies at all.
Businesses could only reach out to a handful of people whether it be for a product launch or just putting themselves out in the marketplace.
But, this has immensely changed with the growth of technology. Businesses can now expand their ways of reaching out to customers and making the process so much easier. For example, businesses can organize hybrid events, by integrating CCaaS instead of having only a launching event, to maximize attendee engagement. Especially after social media development, we can see a significant change.
Social media has brought the world closer and connected businesses like no other. The reach of digital platforms and engaging content has become unparalleled. If you dig into how to start a business, you’ll see that social media is one of the top factors for success.
You could be posting something about your product in one corner of the world and you could have potentially impressed a person in another corner of the world and earned yourself a customer.
Creating visually engaging content for your social media can draw immense traffic to your business.
And, that’s not it! Technology has made it possible for businesses to get paying customers right from their social media profiles!
You can now add a “Book Now” button to your Instagram and Facebook pages, ensuring that your customers book an appointment with you when they are engaged with your brand the most.
Connecting with people has become more about understanding what your customers want and are looking for, rather than hard-selling a product.
Molding a business according to the market needs ensures that the customers are able to connect with the business’s brand such that they eventually grow to trust the brand in meeting their needs.
This entire process has been made manageable and achievable with the use of technology.
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Revamping marketing tactics
In today’s times, marketing has become an art with digital marketing at its apex.
No matter what you are selling or to whom, technology can improve your marketing outputs manyfold, ultimately helping you generate more leads. Webinars and online events have proven to also be a great a lead generation tool. They’re the perfect opportunity to engage your core target market, find new potential customers and position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.
There are several ways in which technology can help you game up your marketing results. The most important ones for a small business are:
Social media marketing:
Social media can be a great way to build your brand’s identity. It can be used for thought leadership, understanding your customers, and it acts as a direct channel for people to interact with you and your business.
The key to getting the best out of social media is to figure out its features and know what you are using it for. You can join social media groups of your domain or just informative groups that teach you how to use the platform’s features to the best of their ability.
Paid media promotions:
This is an external third-party marketing effort where you pay a third-party platform to promote your brand strategically.
It is almost as same as the age-old billboard banner, just that in this case, your brand will get promoted to a larger, targeted audience.
It includes external marketing efforts that involve paid placements, including pay-per-click advertising, branded content, and display ads. The best-paid media campaigns include a blend of all of those things.
Customer data is one of the key assets you have as a small business owner and the email list that can be mapped out of this can be put to use as a channel between you and your customer to foster loyalty and maybe even earn a referral.
Learning how to build an email list and making the best use of it can be very beneficial for your business.
Send out both promotional and non-promotional emails to your customers so that they are constantly engaged with your business.
Search engine optimization or SEO is all about how visible your brand is on a search engine like Google.
Even with the ever-evolving algorithm, it is possible to make efforts in the right direction to get your website or page ranked on Google.
Content is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to any kind of marketing.
So, it is important to prioritize content, read more on how to frame your thoughts, and always put out relevant materials for your audience.
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Running a small business requires you to be a versatile person with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks in different areas such as production, finance, marketing, sales, etc.
But, our brain doesn’t function to its best capacity while multitasking. Here is where technology comes to the rescue. But, in the sea of tools and software, it is important for you, as a business owner, to decide what works best for you.
The first step to getting to know how to manage your tasks is to actually know what is the usual kind of tasks your business has, and then figuring out the best suitable tool.
Does your business have multiple people working on collaborative projects and need a better platform to ideate and execute? Or are you a one-man show who requires all the basic tools starting from finance to project management to marketing, all under one umbrella?
This is for you, as a business owner, to decide.
But, the most common tools are the following:
Collaborative tools: that help you interact with your team and work on projects together seamlessly.
Project tracking tools: to help you with the planning and execution of any project by maintaining a roadmap and sending you timely reminders.
Scheduling software: this is for you to manage daily meetings with your team or clients. Or, if you own a service business such as a salon or a spa, scheduling software can help in managing appointments, scheduling, rescheduling, cancelation, etc. without you having to intervene every time.
Managing tasks has become easier with the help of cloud technology. You can remotely manage projects, maintain consistency between users, backup data, and much more by hosting your workflow channel on a cloud.
Managing customer data in one place
Even if you are just starting out, customer relationship management software should be the center of your digital work desk.
CRMs help in managing contacts, tracking sales, recording payments and activities, drawing insights, sending emails, making calls along with a bunch of other functions.
For you as a small business owner, a CRM can work as an all-in-one personal assistant, customer relationship manager, accountant, and analyst.
It will save you the cost of labor, aggregate everything related to your customers in a single platform, and help you create loyalty and customer retention.
There are a lot of advantages to having a CRM on the tech side. A few of them are:
It helps you segment customers: Based on your customer data, it can segregate your customers based on their demographics, area of location, or any other filter that is relevant to your business. This will help you know and target your audience better.
It can personalize communication: With chatbots or just personalized mails, CRM can help you to curate personalized communication based on your customer segmentation. This would take hours if you were to do it manually, but a CRM can do it in a fraction of the time.
CRMs keep records and generate reports: Even when you are starting out, it is important that you instill a habit of maintaining records digitally because pen and paper cannot be reliable all the time. And as you grow, it will inevitably be difficult to maintain piles of paper records. Maintaining records digitally in a simple excel sheet can simply transcend into having a CRM tool for the same. A CRM tool will not only maintain your customer records but will also generate reports in a dashboard form that will allow you to easily look at the stats and analyze how your business is performing.
It helps you draw insights into your business: Some CRM tools not only generate reports on a regular basis but also present insights from your data that cannot be explicitly visible.
Keeping these advantages in mind, you may go for the CRM tool that best suits your business requirements and has filters and customizable features according to your needs.
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For any business, every minute counts. But for small businesses especially, competing to stay alive and grow in this competitive world, saving or losing time equates to the difference between success and failure.
With limited labor and resources in any small business, automating certain processes can cut down on costs, speed up operations, and generate more profits in a matter of days.
Few areas where automation can do wonders for your business are:
Online Accounting Software: With the help of a full-fledged automated accounting system, you can get a complete overview of the financial status of your firm while reducing the time and cost of maintaining accounting services. Having an all-in-one digital accounting software helps business owners (both small & large businesses) immensely. Be it billing, purchase tracking, making/receiving payments, invoicing, etc., you can easily monitor the cash inflow and outflow status of the business.
CRM: As discussed in the previous section, with a CRM tool, customer relationships can be well-automated while still keeping a personal touch and not seeming too robotic.
Procurement management: With automation, procurement management runs consistently with prompt approvals and hands-off handling. If you are to place an order for a certain product for your business every month, automate it. Send out a timely automated email every month that requires you to just have a quick glance before sending. This can majorly cut down on unnecessary calls, and back and forth emails. And as it is automated according to your requirements, all the stakeholders involved would be updated about the process punctually.
Appointment scheduling software: Setting regular meetings with staff, appointments with vendors, and if you are a service-based business – taking appointments from clients, etc. can be automated with the help of a scheduling software. They can seamlessly integrate meetings and appointments into your work calendar, send you reminders on time, include integrated CRM tools, automated payment features, and more. Choosing the right scheduling software can take the major load from your business, thereby allowing you to invest more time in improving your product or service.
Invoicing Software: With invoice templates, you can automate billing process and get clients to pay faster for your services. With a good invoicing solution, you can track payment status, embed payment button on your invoices, and send invoices to clients by email.
Technology has many more benefits to offer for your business, the key is your willingness to adapt to changes and constantly evolve with technology.
Another important point to consider while finding ways to utilize technology is to not get derailed from your business plans and visions.
With a plethora of online content on complex technology features, one can get easily distracted from their requirements and end up using a high-end tech solution for the most basic task.
So, it is important to keep your cool, jot down your requirements, and use technology in ways that are most suitable for your business.
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