Sunday, April 21, 2024

How To Bring Your Small Business Into The Future.

January 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comThe world of business is constantly changing, and, unfortunately, if you’ve been a small business owner for quite a while, these rapid changes could leave you incredibly confused. Because of this, you might find it hard to embrace the technological age, and instead, choose to stick with what you know. After all, if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing, right? Well, actually, this probably isn’t your best business move. Tradition is important in business, but so is keeping up with the times and staying relevant, at least if you want to keep in business. You can’t just immediately dismiss technological developments as unnecessary, especially if they’re increasing sales for rival businesses. If you don’t know where to start with your modernising venture, then just keep reading for some great suggestions.

  1. Accept Cards

If your business is still only accepting cash as payment, then you could be cutting out a large portion of customers and sales, which is the last thing that you should be doing as a business owner. Cashless payments are on the rise, and with fewer and fewer people choosing to carry around cash, it’s incredibly important to ensure that you can process debit and credit card transactions. At the very least you should have a cash machine in or near your business so that those without cash still have the ability to get some. For teens and young adults, Apple Pay and other mobile payments are also incredibly popular, which is something else that you might want to consider in the future.

  1. Design A Website

These days, if someone is looking to buy something specific, they will usually search online to find somewhere that sells it, rather than traipsing through town and visiting several different stores, only to come out empty-handed. For this reason, it’s almost always necessary to have a website for your business. If you’re not very technologically inclined, then this probably sounds like an incredibly difficult task, but there is no need to worry; There are plenty of template sites to choose from out there, or you could hire a professional to design your website instead.

  1. Sell Online

Having a website is a great way to show off your brand, let people know who you are, and perhaps showcase some of your products, but to really get the most out of it, you should consider selling online too. Online shopping has risen in popularity recently, so allowing people to buy your products through your website is a great way to remain competitive. This should increase your sales, as you’re making it easier for those that work a lot, live far away, or can’t leave the house very easily, to buy what you’re selling.

  1. Start A Blog

Unfortunately, creating a website might not be enough to increase your sales if your website doesn’t show very high up in search engine results. It’s a widely known fact that very few people go past the first page of results when searching for something, so, if you want your business to be seen, you have to get onto this page. A great way to do this is to write a blog. Including links and keywords in your posts should be enough to get you noticed by search engines and increase your SEO, thus increasing site visitors and sales. Just be sure that your posts are quality content, or it could have the opposite effect. Your blog will also help to provide your customers with some idea as to who you are and what you stand for, which could increase customer loyalty.

  1. Join Social Media

Almost everyone has at least one social media account these days, so if you don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter profile for your business, then you are seriously missing out. It might be tempting to start signing up for every social media platform out there, but this is a lot of hard work and isn’t really necessary. Start with Facebook, then once you’ve got the hang of that move onto Twitter, and then maybe start an Instagram account in a couple of months. Social media is a great way to notify your customers of any sales, new products, or other important announcements, and is also perfect for communicating with your customers, thus improving your customer service.

  1. Create An App

While humans might not necessarily be lazy, we do often prefer to find quicker and easier ways of doing things. Buying from a website is quicker and easier than going into a store, but there is one thing that’s even quicker; Buying from an app. When you have an app on your phone, you simply have to click it, rather than typing out a website address or doing a Google search, which is why people find them so convenient. Having an app for your business will also help to keep your business in the mind of your customers, as the name and logo will always be on their phone screen. If you don’t know how to code an app for android or iPhone, then you might want to consult a professional. This way, you know that the job is being done to a high standard.

  1. Go Paperless

While this suggestion probably won’t increase your sales, it could save you a fair amount of money in the long run. If your business still sends out large amounts of letters and has every single important document filed away somewhere in a cabinet, then you are costing yourself and the environment. These days, it’s just as effective to send an email or a text message as it is to send a letter, so why waste paper on flyers for sales or coupons? Your important documents could be saved to the cloud, rather than filed away, which is often deemed safer, as well as more environmentally-friendly.

Change is daunting but is necessary if you want to remain relevant. Hopefully, the suggestions above will help you to bring your business into the future.

Staff Writer; Gary Hall

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