Good businesses use technology well.
I guess we would have all seen a few changes lately with things like the internet, social media or even our smart phones massively changing our lives. With more technology we are seeing more comfort in our fast paced lives whether we are driving, watching television or running our businesses.
- At our recent business networking event business owners shared ways they are using technology in their businesses; making staff more track-able and flexible. More careers are in fact online related. Some staff can work from home and business owners can work productively or have ease in accessing work from home with technology such as clouded servers, clouded software, web based server or file sharing such as Google documents or Dropbox.
- It is important to keep up to date with your competitors and their technology use. Are you competitive to what your industry technology norms are? If not, you should review what your competitors are doing and implement these. The benefits are twofold, firstly, making your customer experience better and secondly, you may make your operations more efficient too. Some examples to check you are technologically competitive are; your payment processing systems, online booking, reminders, birthday wishes, data base or client management systems, computer hardware, client access portals or job tracking software to name a few.
- “Do I have a website that is effective in generating leads?” is a question always on the mind of the business owner. But, can your business website also be used as an efficient electronic brochure or process system for enquiries; If not look at ways to do this such as online booking or ordering. Another example can be to have that very common question answered so it can be emailed to enquiries, for me as an accountant it could be ‘what do I need to give you for my tax return?.’ Another tactic well used is to get interested potential buyers or enquirers to your website to opt in for information (give name and email on a quick box) and they are then delivered pre-planned emails with further information or offers on software called auto-responder. More about auto-responder software here.
- Using social media in business is now an expected norm; However rather than trying to be everywhere the smart business owners would know their target markets and choose social media platforms from there. Basically go where your target market is. Having less social media platforms to master makes good sense, and focusing on less gives a better result. To give you an example, I am told an accountant is less likely to find a new business client on Instagram, whereas a Pet Photographer may find opportunities on this platform. No doubt all businesses need to see if Facebook can work for them and if not is it because of a lack of expertise. Also there are twitter tools auto-replying to keywords in tweets designed to activate interest in related online sales. How about that hey.
- Using the Google search engine is now a habitual go to point for many of us whenever we need to know or do something. Obviously this translates to big time opportunities for us business owners as we can get ourselves in front of buyers anywhere we want. Business owners can do this well by target marketing specifically, blogging, improving SEO rankings, paying Google for leads and advertisements, setting up your Google places advert properly, which is free incidentally.
- Of course being an accountant myself I have to advocate using modern accounting technologies as a way to save on bookkeeping time. New accounting software frees time to help you change more or add value to your business with the time you save. It also leads to a better accounting partnership with your accountant as they can easily access your position throughout the year so your financial information not only documents your tax and BAS returns but also forecasts cash, provisions for your taxes, launches business strategies and your accounting helps grow your business.
Some final quick technology tips for business owners are:
- Let technology save you a lot of time, by seeking a solution to where you are wasting too much time. So start with a review of your time as a business owner. Then seek solutions to where you spend too much time from technology or other means such as delegating or outsourcing for that matter.
- Is a business app good for your business? You should find out or ask yourself “which apps can make me more productive?”
- Don’t be a laggard to technology change. Your customers will leave you in droves as we all expect a well designed customer experience these days.
- Protect your data and let technology do this easily for you too.
- Use an answering machine or auto-reply when you’re away. It can hold off a customer from going somewhere else.
- Getting online reviews like on your Google places ad on Facebook is a great way to accelerate leads, bring you to the top of the pages. So get a system to get online reviews.
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