Technology — as it grows and transforms, it continues to make just about any task you can think of easier, and the same goes for running your small business. Unfortunately, according to Factor Finders, less than half of small business owners take advantage of the multitude of game-changing systems and software that propel businesses forward. Reasons include having a small number of employees, length of time in business as it relates to growing comfortable with old ways, and even age. If you are a small business owner, it’s time to take advantage of the many technologies available to make life easier for you, your business, and your customers.
Start with the Basics: Your Website
Having a professional business website is technology in its most basic form, but many business owners neglect to put the time and money they should into it. You’ve likely come across a website that was seriously lacking in design and function, leading you to question its credibility. If your website looks like it hasn’t been updated since around 2002, it’s definitely time to make a change.
While there are plenty of website builders out there, you should consider hiring a PHP developer to tie everything together. What is PHP? It’s the coding language you must use so that your website looks and behaves appropriately. According to Upwork, Upwork PHP developers can assist you with the back-end development, including current database technologies and various content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, to create both a user-friendly website and interface. The cost for these services generally ranges anywhere from $25 – $150 per hour, so make sure to vet candidates carefully.
Jump on the Digital Marketing Train
Digital marketing is absolutely necessary if you want to attract customers and stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, it’s a powerful tool in helping you establish a clear direction, get to know your customers, integrate your marketing strategy as a whole, and help you optimize to continue improving and moving forward right alongside your competitors. Digital marketing is a huge beast with many pieces, but Small Biz Trends details some of the top ones, including social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
Your Business Isn’t Immune to Cyber Threats
When you hear about data breaches and cyber threats, you probably think about large-scale businesses, but small businesses are just as susceptible. According to USA Today, small business data breaches are on the rise, increasing from 53 percent to 61 percent from 2016 to 2017, and can cost anywhere from $84,000 to $148,000 — enough to put roughly 60 percent out of business within six months. What’s more, 90 percent of small businesses don’t have any form of protection. These statistics are worrisome, but Business News Daily has a great list of security solutions to give you peace of mind. For example, their top suggestion is Comodo, which is a free security provider that offers malware protection, antivirus, internet security, firewall protection, and POS security, all with remote monitoring.
Improve Customer Experience with CRM Software
Maybe you’ve heard of CRM, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. Put simply, Forbes describes it as “all of the activities, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers.” The definition alone demonstrates its importance. By learning about your customers, you’re able to identify purchasing trends, better anticipate customer needs, and optimize customer interactions for a seamless, successful, and satisfying experience on all ends. There is a ton of CRM software out there, but Fit Small Business highlights the pros and cons as well as the features of some of the best CRM programs out there for small businesses, so you are sure to find the right fit.
Technology is constantly advancing, making running a business easier. As a business owner, you know you need to delegate, so go ahead and delegate some tasks to technology. When you see how much more productive you become, you’ll be glad you made some changes.