As a small business, the use of technology can help differentiate your business from others. In fact, technology is the reason smaller businesses can now interact with more potential customers, even on an international level! Therefore, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity. Use these advancements in technology to market your small business and improve convenience, internal communication and more!
At the top of the to-do list in utilizing technology is making sure your business is perceived well on mobile devices. As more people access the internet via mobile devices, it’s important that your company is represented well, even on a smaller screen. This could mean creating an app for your business or ensuring your website has a mobile version.
By having an app, it says your business is committed to customer satisfaction and making their lives easier. It also enables your company to better compete with bigger corporations.
In 2016, Statcounter released data showing that more users worldwide accessed the internet using a mobile or tablet device than desktop; this is the first time that this has happened! This only confirms the fact that a mobile-friendly website is essential. Those who primarily use mobile devices to access the internet, such as commuters, will be turned off from your website if it is hard to navigate.
Social Media Engagement
In addition to engagement on mobile websites and apps, a social media presence is extremely useful in reaching more customers and “humanizing” your business. Today, consumers not only want to access your product or service in the fastest way possible, but they also want to be able to communicate with a brand and voice their opinions. This is especially true for Millennials.
By using social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, you can interact with customers on a more individual level. As a small business, the ability to get to know your audience and gain more insight into what they want is essential. You can also quickly and efficiently reach customers to answer questions and resolve problems.
While not directly seen on the outside, internal communication is extremely important to employee morale, therefore influencing productivity. By using platforms such as Slack and Cisco Spark, teams can easily communicate regardless of location. For a smaller business, this increases communication and opens more opportunity when looking to hire and fill new positions.
This remote communication also provides you the ability to seek remote talent. The global connectivity that technology provides is incredible, and the ability for employees to work completely remotely from organizations is increasing. This opens a completely new pool of potential employees. In 2015, 37% of US employees reported doing some of their work remotely, a jump from 9% in 1995, according to Gallup.
New technology has created the trend of shoppers pulling out their phones when they’re ready to check out. With the emergence of services like ApplePay and Microsoft Wallet, customers scan their phones rather than swiping their cards. Many times, this is much more convenient and quicker.
Your small business can benefit by accepting more types of payments like these. This idea also intertwines with the idea of having an app. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle and numerous other larger businesses have created apps that allow you to load money onto a virtual card and pay with it. With the inclusion of a rewards program, this attracts customers and increases brand loyalty; customers are consistently rewarded for returning over and over again.
With the increased use of technology on a daily basis comes the responsibility of keeping information secure. It’s important to have a system in place to detect threats and respond to them quickly. This is especially true as businesses move over to cloud storage, online payment systems and communication systems through a website or email. Be sure to have updated security software and back up important information regularly. Most importantly, always use a secure Wi-Fi network.
As technology changes, it’s important for you as a small business to be aware of the advantages technology can provide and how it can set you apart from others. Large companies have a harder time directly connecting with customers and the use of things like social media, give you a direct line to communicate and get to know your audience.
Now, use these strategies to expand your small business. We can help you with the first step: becoming mobile friendly! Contact us to create your own app and help customers reach your business faster.