Starting a business is hard, and maintaining a successful business is even harder.
As a small business, it is important to understand the latest technology trends to stay competitive. You are no longer just competing against businesses that are bigger but also businesses that are more modern. Instead of viewing this negatively, consider this: a small business is able to easily change and adapt to the latest technology, while large businesses typically struggle to implement change.
Finding ways to modernize your small business does not have to break the bank. To reach success and continue growing, consider these 6 small steps to advancing your business in the New Year.
The most important step? It is time to accept technology and learn to love it. In the 1980’s and 90’s, taking your business digital was only a suggestion. Nearly 30 years later, 94% of small businesses are mobile friendly. With businesses flooding the internet, choosing to resist technology is also choosing to give your business a death sentence.
Choose the Cloud
Where do you house all of your business and customer information? Hopefully your answer is “The Cloud” and not a row of filing cabinets. Customers expect to interact with you and your business any time, anywhere, and from any device. Get comfortable with using web-based platforms and software applications (including mobile apps!) to meet your customers’ needs.
Keep it Secure
Keeping important and confidential information on The Cloud instead of filing cabinets and spreadsheets may feel risky, so choosing the right software and security package ensures your customer data is safe. Cloud-based solutions save time, effort, and allow you to provide a better customer experience. Security is key when it comes to building a trustworthy relationship with customers.
Say goodbye to bookkeeping and invoicing by hand. With the right software application, you can manage your work and process payments with increased speed and accuracy. The software automatically does the work for you, and customers should hardly notice the difference (but you will!).
Automating your business processes also allows you to save time and resources on administrative tasks to free up time to grow your business and profit margins. From automatic emails and social media posts to data entry and scheduling, allow technology to do the work for you. Your time is better spent on the business versus in the business.
In today’s society, mobile devices come first as a means of communication, media coverage, and information searches. Have a question? Google it on your phone. Need to chat with a friend? Give them a call or text from your mobile device.
If your company is not using software and tools that allow for easy use on a mobile device, you are giving customers a reason to look elsewhere. By allowing customers to find and interact with your business quickly from their mobile devices, you are marketing your business and increasing the chance they choose your services over the competition.
Accept Mobile Payments
Upgrading to mobile payment software is a great first step in automating your business and becoming more mobile-friendly. Mobile payment applications, such as PayUp (an app coming soon from ClearGate), allow you to process automatic estimates, invoices, and payment collections on the spot. Only 23% of people use cash for point-of-sale transactions, so businesses that do not accept mobile credit payments are severely limiting themselves to a small demographic. With mobile payment software, estimate and invoice accuracy increases and wait-time for payments decreases. A win-win situation for any small business!
If you want to meet the demand of current customers (and remain ahead of the game), modernizing your business is no longer just a suggestion – it is crucial. Thankfully, upgrading your business’s technology and digital solutions does not have to be expensive or complicated. In the long run, going digital with mobile solutions will allow you and your business to save time, money, and build a better relationship with customers.
Learning to accept technology as a business norm is half the battle. Mobile business tools are ready and available to help streamline your business’s workflow anytime, anywhere, from any device. It is time to make a decision for your small business: are you going to embrace technology or get left behind?