The landscape of the business world, and even simply owning a business, has changed dramatically in the past two decades. Many of the ways in which people marketed their businesses and the specific internal ways in which those businesses ran fifteen or twenty years ago simply don’t apply to today’s modern landscape, or much better and simpler ways have been developed since. The internet and all of the tools it brings with it has impacted the business world in a massive way, but while it has undoubtedly shaken things up, this needn’t be a cause for concern necessarily.
The internet has provided us with so many ways to take a tighter control over our business ventures that any business-owner who truly wants to succeed must make use of it in some way or another – and anyone can, even if they feel themselves to be somewhat out of their depth when faced with the world of the web. While it is a vast domain, it isn’t so impenetrable as one uninitiated in it may think, and with a few pointers in the right direction, anyone can be making effective use of it in helping to modernize their business in no time. In this article you’ll find a few simple pointers to help you get to grips with some of the various ways in which you can make use of the internet and digital services to help your business grow and flourish.
An Effective Website
Every business will require a website to point their potential customers toward – somewhere that will serve as the first point of call for those interested in the service or product you provide and want a little bit more information on you. Yet, simply having a website isn’t going to cut it – it has to be clear, eye-catching, and immediately informative. Studies have shown that, in fact, it takes less than two-tenths of a second for a customer to come to a solid opinion of your business once they’ve arrived on your web page. You need to make that first impression count. That means your site needs to set out clearly what it is that your business does, have contact details clearly displayed for anyone who wants to find out more, and be easy on the eye so that the customer isn’t immediately turned off by the website’s design. Even if you’re out of your depth on building a site yourself, there are plenty of services out there to assist you with this, providing easy-to-use templates which look professional and are easy to customize to your liking. If you have any pictures you desperately want to feature on your site, but only have a physical copy, there are photo scanning services available through which you can digitize them so that you can easily place them online where you’d like them to be.
Utilizing the Cloud
More and more big businesses are making use of cloud services every day, but it’s just as effective for smaller ones. The cloud is a very useful technology to implement, particularly when you have a business which needs to share files between a great many employees, or across several branches which may not necessarily be very close to one another. It will save a great deal of time in e-mailing the same files to several different recipients, and serve as a single place through which everyone in your company will know to head to for files and resources which they might require. Having everything organized in this way will serve to streamline any file-sharing your business does and save a great deal of time. Plus, the various cloud services available are very simple and intuitive to pick up and start using, and easy to integrate seamlessly into a business.
Social Media and Blogging
If you aren’t taking advantage of social media in making your business a more effective one, you’re absolutely missing a trick. Something as simple as having a dedicated Facebook page for your company will provide a friendlier and more approachable face for it. It’s incredibly simple for an interested potential customer to take a look at your page and perhaps leave a comment on your wall to make an enquiry or ask for more information. Furthermore, a social media page provides a better connection between your business and customers, as you can very easily be updated when there is activity on the page, and subsequently start a dialogue with a customer just as easily. You can also add pictures and post to the page with regular updates, giving those who might be interested in the service you provide a more well-rounded view of what it is you do. A blog serves more or less the same idea, only that it’s less focused around your company as a whole. You can start a blog where you discuss something related to your business or what it is you provide, enabling customers to discover your venture naturally through this. Again, it serves to provide a more human and personal face for your customers to experience initially.
Simplify Wherever Possible
Once you feel you have a better grasp over these areas of technology and the digital world, you can begin to comb through your business’ inner workings and try to find further areas in which you can begin to utilize these services in order to streamline and simplify proceedings going forward. Are there any processes which could be combined or even removed altogether in favor of a technological equivalent? Examine all of your workflows and take every opportunity you can see to make use of any compatible tools which you have available to you. Data management software, for example, or a digital file entry system will serve to increase the speed and quality of your workflow and help your business to better function overall. Identifying and seizing these opportunities wherever they might appear will help your business to truly stand tall in an age which is truly digital.