How Small Businesses Can Use Technology to Boost Revenue
The recent Microsoft report Culturing Success, covering analysis of 500 Australian SMEs, concluded that 67% of companies were lacking the culture necessary to stimulate growth through the uptake of new technology, products and systems.
Significantly, the businesses considered to be creative leaders – 33% of the SME sector – relied heavily on new technology to develop products and drive revenue growth.
So where should you start in helping your small business take a major technological step-up?
Build a great website
An appealing and user-friendly website is a minimum requirement in today’s business environment. Make your site professional with a clean design, and smart and engaging content. Regularly refresh content such as blogs, and integrate social media. Get expert help with SEO practices to ensure your site has the best chance of being found on search engines. The higher your traffic, the more chance you have of conversions. It’s essential, too, that it’s easy to view on mobile devices.
Get in the cloud
These days it’s hard to run an efficient office without making it a virtual one. The day of the deskbound computer is drawing to a close. With your data and programs stored on the cloud, you can use any device to access whatever you need whenever you need it – and wherever you are in the world too, as long as you have an internet connection.
Operating in the cloud means saving money on IT costs, and more flexibility not only when it comes to working arrangements, but also business growth. Cloud resources can be scaled up or down depending on business needs. There are several providers out there to choose from, and your package should include unlimited cloud storage, multi-platform support, high security and integrated apps for complete flexibility to grow. The sky’s the limit!
Learn to share on social media
With people now routinely using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to communicate with businesses, your customers will increasingly expect you to have a social media presence. Don’t disappoint them if you’re serious about building revenue. Use social media to reach new customers, and communicate with your existing ones. You can answer customer queries, promote new products or services, and use it to help tell your brand story.
It’s also vital you know what customers are telling others about your services or products. Direct the conversation towards your business, so you hear the complaints before others do.
Rejuvenate your phones
There’s nothing old-fashioned about contemporary telecommunications. Customers are still keen to talk to businesses on the phone, and by going digital with your phone network, you can streamline the process and improve the customer experience.
Consider a virtual 1300 number, toll free 1800 number or chosen phone word to make it truly easy for customers to reach you (rather than your competitors) and get their problems solved promptly and professionally.
If you choose a 1300 or 1800 number through telecommunications provider evoice, you can also provide the same level of service and professionalism as a much larger company with a virtual receptionist.
All calls to your business will be answered 24/7, without having the expense of employing a dedicated person for the role. evoice’s call management features also offer the ability to customise the greeting, direct calls, forward calls, and convert voicemails to email.
Don’t be one of those SMEs languishing at the bottom of the heap. Embrace new technology in your small business – it’s an essential part of the growth equation.