Having a strong online presence is a very important criteria for your business to be considered legit by customers. It does not matter if your storefront has been operating for the past 50 years, if you cannot be found online then you’re virtually non-existent to the modern customer.
Unlike years ago when you need a significant amount of cash to put up a website by hiring a specialised web developer, now you can use free platforms like WordPress or Squarespace to publish your website. You don’t need to know HTML or have any design skills because you can use ready-made templates that are already available and are even optimised for mobile devices. For a small nominal fee, you can also secure your own domain name and be online within one day. These tools are also useful if you have an outdated website that you want to redesign or redevelop.
Aside from your website, you should also establish your social media pages and use these to market your services. Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are the three strongest platforms to reach consumers while LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing.
If you are more comfortable in using a calculator or a pen and paper for your daily tasks then you are not alone. There are still thousands, if not millions of people around the world who depend on manual tools. But in order for you to maximise your time, it is wiser to explore available software and apps that can potentially make tedious work a breeze.
A good example of this is using a software to replace your old cash register. If you have a retail or an F&B store, you can look into replacing your bulky cash register with a software to transform your iPad into an EPOS system. This way, your iPad can serve as a portable cash register that you can position or take anywhere within your store.
Aside from just monitoring sales transactions, sophisticated EPOS systems such as Nobly can generate sales reports, end of day reports, inventory reports and even staff reports with just one click. Nobly can also be connected to accounting systems like QuickBooks and Xero so you don’t have to manually import data.
These intelligent reporting and integration features can immediately show you how your business is performing in real time so you don’t have to manually analyse this data for yourself and you can make more effective decisions straightaway.
Technology has now allowed a lot of tasks to be automated and this can save a business owner like you a lot of time and resources. There are different areas where you can apply automation in your business.
One company that used automation ingeniously was global tech giant Facebook. In 2011, they pioneered the use of IT vending machines to dispense replacement power cords, keyboards, and other must-have IT accessories. Instead of having employees manually request IT accessories and go through the tedious process of approvals, an employee just needed to swipe an ID badge to get his replacement device. This automated process made IT accessories available 24/7 without the need of hunting down the IT guy , plus it even reduced Facebook’s cost of managing replacement accessories by about 35%!
Customer service is another area where automation can be useful. If you have a small number of staff, it can be difficult to immediately respond to all customer requests and complaints. However, using automated email and instant messaging tools can help you in maintaining excellent customer satisfaction.
If you’re still using paper files and hard drives to manage and store your business documents, then it’s time for you to start looking into using Cloud storage solutions. The Cloud allows you to store your data over the internet, making it easier to access whatever information you need anywhere, anytime.
This means that even if you’re out of the office, you don’t need your secretary to dig up that file or that receipt you need. With just a search button, you can access your files instantly.
Aside from business mobility, another advantage of using a Cloud solution is reduced IT costs. You only need to pay for the storage that you need, when you need it, making Cloud more flexible than older storage methods.
It is important, however, to choose a reliable Cloud storage provider to ensure that problems such as downtime, security and accessibility are minimised.
Remote working has become increasingly popular nowadays with technology enabling workers to complete their tasks in any location with with an internet connection. This hiring model can significantly reduce office-based costs for a business owner.
Another advantage of hiring a remote worker is being able to take advantage of exceptional global talent. Traditional hiring practises limits you to the people within your geographical vicinity, but with remote hiring, you can now employ a specialist for your projects without these location constraints. This can be especially helpful for businesses that require high-level niche expertise.
As technology continues to evolve, your business also needs to adapt in order to stay relevant. Although it may seem overwhelming at first to upgrade your old-fashioned ways, applying these up-to-date tech strategies will reap your business more benefits in the long run.