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Utilising Technology to Stay Competitive in Small and Medium Businesses

Whether you’re starting a local pawn shop, a bakery or a plumbing service, there is one thing that’s universal for all kinds of starting businesses – its availability to the customers and its public image; more or less how it is promoted to the world.

Take a look at the world’s largest and most successful company by fiscal revenue, and what 90% of it relies on. The world largest company by revenue in 2019 was Walmart, racking in a whopping $514.4 billion. This is due to the ever-increasing demand for discount department and the increase in brick-and-mortar stores has made a difference. But what jumped Walmart up almost $100 billion above the next company? Answer: The advancements made in technology to increase their online marketing presence and revamp their online store capabilities.

Utilising Technology to Stay Competitive in Small and Medium Businesses -

Why go on-line?

Some of the most important things that make your business stand out include its one-click availability and the increase of popularity through simple and fast link sharing and online ads Having a business website highly increases your chances of being noticed and perceived as professional. Let’s say you have four competitors in your area only, but only you have a website. You get the idea. Your customers will have the knowledge of the entire spectrum of your services on their computer or mobile screen, so even if your prices are a little bit higher than those of your competitors, most people will go with the comfort of knowing exactly what they’re getting, over a less costly service with a two-sentence description, if even that.

Having a website also means a large potential increase in customers, from a number of different online sources. It means your business can be advertised in numerous places for a small fee, not to mention the most popular ones like Facebook and Google. The ads are also quite cheap, as they utilise the economical method of Cost per Click (CPC), which means exactly what you think it does. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a small fee to Google ($1 lowest average) or Facebook (27.35 cents lowest average).

Reaching out to everybody or any type of targeted audience has never been easier than it is today. Your site will also be indexed in the most popular search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Let’s say you own a flower shop, and you have a site up and running. If you’ve described your products well, the ones most interested in your offerings will sooner or later run into your site by simply typing in what they’re after and pressing enter. If you’ve registered your exact location on Google Maps, those in your vicinity who type “flower shop near me” will have your shop pop right up on their screens. Needless to say, owning a website is a must, if you really want to make it.

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My business already has a website, what now?

You’ve successfully developed an internet page that accurately describes all the services your business provides, you’re becoming a solid pick on search engines when your customers look up what they need, and that may seem like enough, but that’s only the beginning. The next thing you want to do is accurately determine the exact consumer type you are targeting and act on that information. For example, if your business offers delivery services, you may want to consider having an app developed for you. If you hire a freelance developer, you can cut quite a decent deal.

An entire app for your business means taking it to the next level; it’s basically a second website, except a lot more interactive than its predecessor. In the case of owning a fast food restaurant, your customers will have the entire menu at the press of a button, meaning they don’t have to make those awkward calls, as a lot of people who order fast food would rather make their choices in silence. It keeps the atmosphere private and intact. Not to mention teenagers and adolescents after their nights out, they mostly don’t even want to consider using their exhausted vocal cords. Keep in mind that all of this is just one example for one type of business. The opportunities and advantages of having an app are numerous, and that makes apps the top pick on this list.

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What about social media?

Right under the app category, the second most important thing in developing a business and increasing its popularity is social networking. Social networks have become so impactful in people’s lives that this suggestion doesn’t even need explaining. A Facebook page or a Twitter account will provide you with as many customers as all of the previous factors, combined. That is, if you know how to tap into the public’s interests and entertain them with the very idea of using your services. You don’t need to know that, simply hire a page admin for a ridiculously low fee or better still, allow your website hosting company to manage your socials. Besides creative advertising, there is also the review box in the upper left corner of your Facebook page, which is often a key factor in customer choices, as they tend to compare similar businesses for the best option. This applies to any and all sorts of businesses, from candy shops to sewage cleaning.

Let’s say you’re an exterminator, how could you possibly make the idea of poisoning insects attractive to the public? That’s up to your page admin, but here’s an idea of how it works. Say they make one post a day, and it’s a polished picture explaining bug species and the best way to neutralise them, along with your motto and logo underneath it. Not only will your page get more followers fond of daily trivia, but it will also make you seem extremely professional and devoted. One thing you can be sure of, there is never too much devotion to what you do. Whatever page you make on whatever network (if done well and maintained) can only increase your revenue.

Utilising Technology to Stay Competitive in Small and Medium Businesses -

I already know all that, what else?

Great, you can put check marks on the key business factors of today on your “Road to Success” list, but does that mean the entire list? Not quite so. There are a few things left that can bolster your business and take it to the modern level completely. Some of those include the following:

  1. Accounting software – This is self-explanatory. Why pay for an accountant and increase your costs if you can use an app or a program instead? Software such as Xero or MYOB are great starting points for managing your business accounts, wages and other accounting tasks.
  • Planning software – Something like a calendar or a list of daily activities, shared with all your employees, as they can sometimes be forgetful. Helps you thoroughly organise every single workday, increasing the simplicity and quality of your work. This can be as simple as utilising g-suite calendar platforms or software more advanced such workspace platforms such as Podio.
  • Email advertising – Social networks and everything mentioned above are sure to bring you profit, but if you mean to reach out to those that are strictly professional and spend most of their online time in their email inbox, this is your best option. Make sure that your emails are polished if you decide to take this step, because those that seem unprofessional are quickly marked as spam and can make your offer seem like a waste of time.
  • Tracking software – Somewhat of a luxury that’s becoming more and more of a standard today. If your business includes any kind of delivery, you will want to consider providing your customers with the ability to see where their purchased products are at any time.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, a process of increasing the quality and quantity of your website traffic through visibility in search engines. Quality SEO plans will maximise your keywords on searches and get you listed at the top of that Google page. Most hosting companies offer SEO packages as it is becoming more common as technology advances. Ultimately, more customers, means more sales which means more profit for you. Everybody wins.

We live in an age of technology, where most information about anything is shared worldwide instantly. It is that information about what you do that will cause interest in customers. It’s up to them to choose, and up to you to make them choose it by keeping up with today’s standards and living up to the expectations of a modern age business. As a small to medium business, not staying up to date with the latest technologies is without a doubt, the worst thing that will impact on your business.

Are you a starting out small to medium business owner, or maybe an established business owner looking to take your business to the next level of technology? Contact Jezweb today for all your website design, graphic design, website and email hosting and SEO needs. Multi award winners and conveniently based in Newcastle. Don’t hesitate. Take your business into the technological future with Jezweb.