Could your business use a few technological upgrades? It’s in your best interest to keep up with the times, or else you could lose sales and opportunities. You don’t need to buy all the new gadgets and tools, of course; everything is best in moderation, so take a good look at your business and determine which areas would benefit most from implementing new technology.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone—knowing where to start can be daunting and confusing, and you want your investments to be worthwhile. To get you started, here are a few technological changes your business could significantly benefit from:
Security should be a priority. Even if your business does not handle much data and you don’t store customers’ information, protect what you do have with secure passwords, multi-step verification, and other tools. Don’t fall into a vulnerable state of thinking that you are unhackable—not because your technology is secure, but because who would want to hack you? What do you have that is worth stealing? Such thoughts are dangerous and could put you at serious risk.
Invest in heightened cybersecurity infrastructure. Train your employees about IT security best practices, backup your data, and take precautions to protect yourself from attacks. Plus, consumers gravitate toward businesses that prioritize security because they are rightfully wary of low-security companies. Simply having increased security can open more doors for you.
If you are still using a bulky outdated cash till, it might be time to update to an ePOS system or register. Electronic point of sale systems enable you to accept all kinds of payments, including credit cards, digital wallets, and other contactless methods. Most people don’t carry cash on them anymore, so remaining a cash-first business limits the number of people who can transact with you.
The best ePOS systems even track data and compile them into digestible reports for you to analyze. Instead of operating your business through guesswork, why not glean invaluable insight into how many customers come into your store, how many items they purchase, and which items they buy most frequently? Making data-driven decisions can help you adjust your business strategy appropriately.
EPOS systems can significantly improve your bookkeeping practices, but you can take them a step further with software designed specifically for accounting. The right tools can help you monitor inventory, track your budget, watch your expenses, and streamline your overall cash flow management.
When you don’t have to spend countless hours manually keeping your books, you have more time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as reaching new customers and creating new revenue streams. Virtual systems can also make it easy to share documents with your accountant for tax purposes.
There are no tools that can simply market your business for you, but there are resources that make it significantly less tedious. Take social media, for example—posting across platforms and interacting with followers can be time-consuming, but it’s important that you do it in order to attract an online audience.
Instead of doing everything yourself, though, there are scheduling tools you can use to post at the right times of day without being near your device. Social media metrics can also help you create compelling content that people feel inclined to share.
Better email tactics
Emailing customers can be overwhelming, but email marketing can be an effective tool in connecting with new ones and retaining your regulars. Instead of sending generic messages, though, online email marketing tools or software-as-service options can help you personalize your emails with different call-to-action according to what kind of customer you are communicating with.
They can help you automatically send thank you notes target leads, and you can consider sending online surveys to people to incentivize writing reviews.
Moving necessary documents to the cloud makes it easier to share them. Instead of passing paper documents between employees, cloud sharing enables everyone to have access to the right information whenever they need it. It also has more file storage than traditional hard drives, which you may need as your business scales upward.
The cloud can increase your business’s connectivity, and there are other ways to achieve the same thing. Being more connected to your business through technology allows you to be more flexible (don’t you just love working from home) and keep an eye on things from afar.
Of course, you don’t want this to turn into a reason to be working all the time, so confine work to business hours, but using digital tools can improve communication between you and your employees, help you go paperless, and enhance organization.
If your business could use some tech changes, start by looking at the most time-consuming, ineffective, and inefficient process you have, and research to see if there is a tool to solve it. What tech improvements will you make in your business?