If you walked into a business and noticed rundown paint, dusty shelves, and products from the 1990s, you'd probably think this business needed an update. Turn this way of thinking toward the digital side of your own business. If your technology is not routinely updated, the backend of your business will be run down and operating an antiquated technology. This can keep you stagnant and longing for growth that you can’t support.
Today, the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce shares just a few ways that technology can propel you forward.
All businesses need a way of operating that encourages employees to share their experiences and opinions. Implementing business process management technologies, which reduce labor time and enhance the employee and customer experience, can do just that. Business process management encompasses many areas of your business, from automated payroll to helping your customers fill out multiple forms by only entering information at once.
Without data, you have no way to make informed decisions on everything from marketing to how to handle your supply chain. The GeeksForGeeks blog also explains that companies can use data for product creation. Data can also be used in risk analysis to help ensure that you offer safe products for your customers.
Social media might not come on your radar as technology, but it absolutely is. Social media allows you to quickly, easily, and effectively communicate with your customers, and you can even schedule posts ahead of time. To get started, use a free Instagram story template, which can help you grab attention with fully customized elements, including resizing, new typeset, colors, and images. Posting on social media promotes brand awareness and shows the world what you’re all about. Effectively utilized, social media can help you capture a greater share of the market.
Going mobile is another way to perpetuate growth. Keep in mind that consumers today no longer sit in front of the desktop. The vast majority of consumers now use their smartphones to place orders. Statista explains that consumers spend approximately $430 billion each year on mobile sales. Consider developing an app or, at the very least, confirm that your web developer can create a mobile version of your website.
Customers are not patient, and they desire interaction and response as soon as possible. Give it to them by utilizing artificial intelligence to help answer common queries, such as account balance, shipping status, and office hours. Although chatbot technology is still being refined, giving the illusion of attentiveness can mean the difference between someone calling the competition or maintaining their status as your customer. If you choose to stick with humans, offer multiple ways to communicate, including phone, messaging, and instant chat.
No matter which type of technology you choose, make sure that it will work as it is supposed to. A few ways to do this include simply calling support to see if someone picks up the line, testing and monitoring a small change in one aspect of your business before moving forward with your entire organization, and making sure you update your software and hardware as needed to keep up.
As your business increases its use of technology, make sure that your digital security increases with it. Start by educating your team about fraudulent emails and phishing. Then, add dual-factor authentication to your login practices. Be sure to password protect your digital files, too, especially if you send them out to remote employees or customers. Even if you are revising a document, you can do it securely using PDFs. If you need to edit a PDF online with your team, use an editing tool to add highlights, comments, and virtual sticky notes. Then, go into Tools and select Protect. Then click Encrypt and, finally, Encrypt with Password to ensure your file is secure as you finalize and send it out.
Technology is always evolving, and it can help your business evolve, too. Whether you are simply using social media or analyzing your risk with big data, the tools listed above can help you build your business from the ground up with a base stable enough to handle growth at all stages. Look for great digital tools to simplify your business processes, and be sure to increase your digital security practices, too.
Membership in the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce offers invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs in our community. Join us today!
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