For most people in this day and age, technology is a way of life. Cell phones have become lifelines to the world, and most everyone has a computer in their home. From the way we heat and cool our food to the way we wash dishes, we rely on technology to help us get our work done quickly and more efficiently. The same is true of the relationship between small businesses and technology.
With the rules about what business looks like ever changing, staying up to date with technology that’s relevant to your small business culture and industry is crucial. Those who can get on board with the latest technological trends and learn to streamline their work processes will undoubtedly get ahead quicker. Implementing technology in your small business is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Therefore, small businesses should approach the implementation of technology in the workplace for the following reasons.
Open Communication with Your Team
Many small businesses these days operate with remote teams. Instead of meeting at a central location, everyone remains in separate locations and the internet is the source of connection. Managing team members and customers from around the world can be made seamless with some of the latest software and applications available on the market, thus making the absence of physical presence a non-issue.
Asana and Trello are great applications to help with task and project management. As a leader in a small business, you have many tasks to delegate to your team members. Using applications such as these, you can help guide your staff to determine what their specific tasks are and when they are due. Meetings with your associates and teammates may also be done as needed through the help of communication apps such as Skype and Slack.
It can never be stressed enough how important communication is in business. Not only does it help establish workflow, but it creates a positive environment for your team. When your employees feel that the company cares for them, this serves as a motivation for them to do their work better and more efficiently. If the employees are happy with the way you communicate clearly with them and allow them to communicate with you, this could also boost their relationship with the customers and clients.
Increase in Customer Engagement
Long before apps arrived on the scene, businesses would send out letters (otherwise known as snail mail) informing their customers about ongoing promos or future programs. Nowadays businesses can use email service providers like MailChimp to send out newsletters and promotions that will go directly to peoples’ phones. As stated previously, people’s phones are their lifeline to the world. They always have them with them, and can immediately access anything you send to them.
Although contact forms on websites provide a space for clients to give you feedback or ask questions, some small businesses have chatbots that go live on their website whenever a possible customer visits the site. As clients are perusing the site, they can converse with an agent that will answer their queries in real time and assist them with their every need.
Another great way to increase small business customer engagement is to measure your current relationship with customers. Are your customers satisfied with the service that they are receiving from your business? Do they have any suggestions on how you could improve? Having and actively utilizing a Customer Relationship Management system will allow you to get detailed answers to such questions and much more. Utilizing the resources of a business system management company like Tuxedo Impressions LLC™ will ensure that you find the right technology to create a 360 view of your relationship with your customers.
Marketing for Your Small Business
With all of the various platforms available nowadays for sharing your products or services, marketing has now evolved. From handing out flyers outside your building to having mascots dance around to simply clicking a button and sharing your information on social media, technology has made it quite easy nowadays to market your business.
The first step in marketing online is to create accounts for your business on various social media platforms. This is a crucial step, as you have the potential to reach hundreds to thousands of people. Once you’ve created the accounts, you can use a program like Hootsuite or Aweber to schedule and coordinate posts. All you have to do is input the information you want to send into the program, and it will send your post to all of your registered social media accounts.
Again, using email is great for marketing. Many companies send out coupons and notices of special offers or giveaways to people who have subscribed to their website. People love free stuff, so this is usually a huge draw for businesses. It is especially helpful when you have a good understanding of your target demographic and can provide discounts and products that would especially be appealing to that particular group of people.
Personally, I have observed that companies who do not adapt to change or try to go along with the latest trends usually fade away from existence. This is not a drill. For example, just remember that Kodak was once the top when it came to film, photographs and printing, but a few years back, they filed for bankruptcy. Of course, businesses would want to avoid that from happening at all costs. And that is one of the million dollar questions we ask ourselves. How to be always in? My response would always be to adapt to the changes or just simply evolve.
~ Maria Kristine, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™