Small businesses, or startups, are the backbone of the local economy. They bring growth and innovation to the communities they belong in. And they help boost economic growth by providing job opportunities for people who may not be employable by bigger corporations.
As we face the biggest recession to hit the global economy since World War II, small businesses need all the help they can to survive. Here are five ways small companies or startups can leverage technology to their advantage.
Connecting with new clients or customers
Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, the possibilities for marketing are endless, even when we’re on lockdown or quarantine. The digital landscape is indeed getting increasingly saturated, and having a standout online presence is a challenge, but there are multiple ways to expand your reach and engagement.
If you can, hire the right people. Some experts specialize in digital marketing, and they can help you reach a new audience and keep your current one engaged and loyal. If not, do it yourself and start by knowing everything you can about your target demographic. Then proceed by researching the best digital marketing tools, trends, and practices you can adopt—it can help increase brand awareness for your business. Don’t be intimidated! The internet is at your disposal.
Remote work or telecommuting
If your small business can be done remotely, don’t hesitate to transition to telecommuting permanently. Projections state that the best-case scenario is that the pandemic lasts until next year, so intermittent lockdowns and quarantines are still in our foreseeable future.
Move all operations into the safety of your home. Connect with your team through real-time communication apps and software. A work-from-home setup can give you and your employees a sense of permanence and consistency, and it will help cut high costs on office rent and utilities.
Tasks and productivity
There are tools you can utilize to help boost productivity among your employees. There are apps for time-tracking, notes, to-do lists, digital signing, shared calendars, data transfer, call and messaging schedulers, 3D scanning, automated actions, and many others. There are also online services for mobile banking, tax filing, and other financial transactions and errands. An efficient cloud service is also a necessity, even for small businesses.
You name it; chances are there’s an app for it. Technology has provided programs and services for every possible business need. Utilize these apps to boost productivity among your team.
A tool for security
Startups, like all businesses, should be smart to secure all their information, transactions, e-mails, resources, files, records, and all other communications in one place. There are archiving compliance services designed for this purpose.
Archiving is vital, even for small businesses. For example, because a business e-mail is considered a valid business record, companies are required by law to preserve correspondence to protect themselves and their customers or clients. Business owners have a legal and moral responsibility to archive their company’s correspondences. You never know when having a complete record of all your transactions can come in handy in the future.
An excellent customer service
Customer service is vital for any small or mid-sized business. The quality of your service to your customers will make or break your reputation among current and future consumers.
Our “instant gratification” culture has created a generation of impatient and restless consumers. It’s frustrating for customers not to receive a refund or provide feedback when a product or service is subpar. On the flip side, you also need to provide your consumers with a platform to give your product or service a glowing review. An efficient and easily accessible online customer service allows your clients to provide feedback in real-time.
This can be in the form of e-mails, an online help desk, your business’s social media accounts, Google forms, and other data-gathering software. There are many simple yet effective ways for your audience to reach you as quickly as possible. Just be sure that there is a friendly and well-trained customer service representative on the other side to answer their queries and concerns.
A Fight for Survival
With the economy in recession, there are more challenges than opportunities for small businesses. They are vulnerable in ways that larger corporations aren’t. However, there are also many technological tools at their disposal—tools for every possible business need.
If you’re a small business owner, don’t cut back on digital marketing, take advantage of telecommuting, explore the best apps and software, and don’t neglect customer service. Your business may come out bigger and stronger on the other side of this pandemic.