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How Connected Is Your Business?

– Contributed content –

Brainstorming with laptops

(Helloquence, Unsplash)

17 Dec. 2019. We’re living through an era where technology has never been more of an aid to us. Whether we’re thinking business related or not, we have never been as connected to each other as we have before. With a simple tap of a few buttons, we can easily find out pretty much anything we want. For customers, this means more security with their shopping than ever before. It means easier access than ever before. It means a lot of people can know a lot of information, in a matter of seconds. For a business, this can only mean growth and strength.

There are so many ways that technology can be used as a business aid. Whether you’re thinking about the computers you’re using in the office, or the software that’s now readily available to use, to enable smoother processes. But you have to ask yourself, how connected are you? As a small business, it’s often found that a connection to the business world is not as strong, because they’re not as connected with technology. If you feel like there’s many more ways that you are yet to explore, we’re going to introduce you to them. Keep on reading, and connect your business to the rest of the world, and watch it grow.

Mobile and on-the-go connection

Being an on the go business has never been more important, because demand has never been so high. Customers are now expecting far more from the companies they’re choosing to entrust their money with. This often means constant communication, and efficiently. So gone are the days where you would be able to leave the office and that was that. Instead you’ll no doubt be on your emails all of the time, and doing whatever you need to do to keep your business running. Sometimes you might not be doing this as efficiently as you could be doing.

For example, if you’re going home and sitting on rubbish Wi-Fi, on a dated laptop, it’s going to take you so long to reply to emails. Plus, customers often find emails far less convenient now, as they feel it sometimes takes longer to get a reply. No doubt with your past experiences as a customer, you will have experienced the dreaded email delay. A great idea, would be to get yourself a powerful new smartphone, such as the new iPhone 11, and then look at SMARTY mobile to get a pay as you go contract. They’re far more efficient than a contract, and often the deals are better. As a business, you’re going to need unlimited calls, text, and data, and a good phone to use for business needs.

You could then use a chat service to speak to customers outside of work. Guarantee a 24 hour response with your emails, and direct customers to the chat service. Operate it until around 8pm, and then switch off for the day.

Software aids

Software aids, if they’re not already, will become essential to your business. There has never been more in terms of software that’s readily available for all businesses to use. What niche you’re in and what needs you have will determine the software that you’re looking for. But no matter what your problem is, we know that there will be software to aid you. So a good example is when looking at a production line. Not all companies have, or will ever need a production line. But if you make and deliver the products, or even just deliver, you will have one.

Now, it seems they’re notorious for getting orders wrong, and damaging business reputation instantly. You will either have just yourself, or a team running the production line. No matter what the numbers, software can help you track each item for each customer. This will therefore allow you to reduce delays, and make sure the right item gets to the right customer. At this time of the year, people are devastated when the wrong item turns up at their door, but on a busy production line it’s an easy mistake to make.

Office technology

If you don’t have an office, then you can just skip right on to the next section. But we know that a lot of new, small businesses, are now online and office based. Meaning they have minimal to no customer interaction that’s face to face. But what that does mean, is that it’s all done using technology, and the better the technology, the better the connection. So first we want to start with the phone, because if your number is readily available for your customers to call, it will no doubt be ringing all day.

Simple changes such as switching to VoIP can really change the way your office works. VoIP is where your connection comes through the internet, rather than through a landline connection. They can be notoriously rubbish for connection, and VoIP is so much cheaper to use as well as better for you and your customers. You can then think about getting a virtual office assistant. They are able to take calls and leave messages while you’re not in the office, meaning your customers aren’t just getting to a blank wall. It’s far more efficient when dealing with complaints, and generally makes your life a lot easier.

Moving away from the phones, we highly recommend investing some money into newer computers, and managed servers. While two completely separate things, they both play a big part in office productivity. Managed servers are useful for when the database that you have just keeps on growing. It takes the hassle away from you, ensures more security, and allows your data to readily expand. Newer computers are a no-brainer. The newer the computer, the easier it’s going to be to work on in terms of quickness and software that you could use.

A connection to your niche

Having a connection to your niche is so important. You need to be able to understand how it’s growing, and how you need to grow with it. To have more of a connection to your niche, you simply need to do your research into what other companies are doing. The more you understand how they operate and how they’re interacting with your customers,the more you’re going to understand how the niche works. You could also go to business conferences where your niche is the main subject. There are many conferences held all over the world, in nearly every niche of business. Even if it means you have to travel, the information you’ll learn will often be invaluable.

A connection to your customers

We’re finishing with one of the most important ones. A connection to your customers allows you to grow your business rapidly, which is why some small businesses fail to do so. Especially those that are office based with the only interaction being digital or through the phone. To gain a better connection, you could use a similar tactic that we mentioned above. Marketing events are a great chance to meet like minded business people, as well as customers. It allows them to put a face to a name, which customers always find reassuring. Marketing events are really easy to attend as well, with some of them even being free to do so. We’d advise going to look round one first so you can get a feel for how they work, and which stools attract attention and why. You can then move on to have your own stool, and start bringing in more custom.

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