Congratulations! You’ve gotten past your first months as a small business owner. Now, maybe you have the dream of someday taking on a giant like Amazon, but your resources are limited and you struggle with managing everything from sales and marketing to production and all the daily details that never seem to end.
It’s time to take a breath and assess the most effective steps to grow your business. There may never be enough time to get through your “To Do” list but a few hours devoted to some reflection and technological adjustments will be well worth the effort. Let’s talk about some tech tools you can use to run your business in order to boost growth.
List of Technology Solutions That Can Boost Sales For Your Small Business
1. Revamp Your Marketing Techniques
Without a small business marketing strategy, your product or service will sit unused on the shelf and your business will fail. Your brand has to be created and then shared with as many potential customers in the shortest time possible, with the goal of turning those first-time buyers into established, repeat customers.
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The most effective way to take your small business to the next level is to concentrate your current marketing effort where it brings the highest return. Current and potential customers need to hear from you often, in a way that makes sense to them. Communicate consistently with them to keep the relationship alive and strong over time. In a period of growth, however, you might not have the capacity to increase your marketing budget for such efforts but the good news is you don’t have to. There are many tools available that will let you ramp up your marketing within a budget.
Postermywall is one such option. It is an online graphic design, and our first recommendation, that makes the creation and distribution of professional marketing content easy and affordable. With thousands of professionally designed templates for a variety of themes, a free resize feature to repurpose your designs for any platform, easy sharing and collaboration features and more, it is a design, sharing and productivity tool packaged into one.
Today’s consumers turn to digital content to make purchasing decisions, and your small business can position itself to be found easily and then make a lasting impression with a solid digital marketing strategy for all platforms. But whether it’s social media, blog posts, small business flyers, or emails, PosterMyWall provides template options for all themes and sizes. Even video! Diode Digital reported in 2017 that online video for business is 600% more effective than print and direct mail combined. Your small business can’t afford to ignore these numbers, but with Postermywall’s thousands of video templates and affordable pricing, you no longer need to hire an expensive videographer to do the job for you.
This tool can help you cut costs while reaching more people more effectively in a shorter period of time. And that’s pure gold for a small business as it positions itself to take on the giants.
2. Build An Email List And Have A Lead Magnet
A solid email list is an inexpensive, high-impact marketing tool for any small business. Simply gathering business cards and filing them in a box isn’t enough. Here are some ways to consolidate those addresses into a valuable resource that adds little expense and high returns.
If you have a physical location for your business, create a colorful display near your register with both a glass bowl for business cards and a sign-up sheet for email addresses and offer freebies to the customers who provide their contact information. You are building a solid foundation of people who have already visited your business, with the goal to keep them involved and informed.
Your website itself can also be a valuable source of contacts. Use effective lead magnets like checklists, templates, ebooks, toolkits, samples, and calendars to encourage website visitors to provide their email address in exchange for a beneficial resource. Here’s a proposal software called Bidsketch using a Sample Client Proposal as a lead magnet:
Once you have your email list, you can create beautiful email headers with PosterMyWall and build effective emails for large audiences easily with a tool like MailChimp. Sales, promotions, and special events can be publicized quickly once the addresses are captured and saved in your Customer Management System. Let’s take a look at this tool next.
3. Utilize A Customer Management System (CMS)
As you work to grow your business and outshine the competition, you will need to use your time as efficiently as possible. A good Customer Management System is an invaluable time-saver for you, especially if you don’t have staff dedicated to administrative tasks. It is an investment definitely worth considering.
A CMS, sometimes also referred to as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, can support your sales effort, integrate social media, capture contact information, and facilitate communication between members of your team. A cloud-based CMS also allows you to access the information from anywhere, using a mobile device. You can use short periods of downtime in the field to record the information from business cards gathered that morning, update existing customer or professional contact information, and access sales data.
Nimble is a CMS that turns your mobile devices and your desktops into a cloud-based personal and team relationship manager. It is just one of many to consider. Nimble can work for you while you (or your salespeople) are on-the-go by providing saved dossier information about the people on your meeting agenda for the day, helping with follow up as your meetings conclude, as well as providing graphs and charts about sales and marketing efforts. This is the type of tool that saves time in an attempt to reduce marketing costs and increase sales.
4. Utilize An Asset Management System
An asset management system is essential for any business, not just large corporations with a huge bottom line. It may be even more important for small businesses as owners try to squeeze every advantage from each expense. Software designed for keeping track of a business’s assets makes this task as time-efficient as possible.
Many such systems are cloud-based so that you can keep tabs on your purchases from the field as you make them; they can immediately recalculate your bottom line as you spend money. When it’s time for taxes or an audit, you can generate the reports quickly to show the necessary asset entries.
A useful asset management system among many is EZ Office Inventory is a complete asset management solution that comes with a comprehensive log for each asset – starting from procurement all the way through to retirement. it helps to simply workflows, manage assets across locations, and make use of actionable insights gained over time.
As the owner, you can quickly assess your spending with these tools to see if your efforts are bringing in money or if they are simply draining your bottom line. These programs can also track inventory, another task that can waste your time if not corralled by a system that works for you.
The two software investments together—the CMS and the asset management system—will be invaluable additions to your business. Small businesses learn quickly that the maxim of “Time is Money” is the cornerstone of growing your business.
As we keep saying, the most important commodity you have at your disposal is also one of the few that is finite: time. No matter how hard you work at growing your business, you still only have 24 hours each day. The lesson, as we’ve seen, is to maximize our efforts and this ultimately means small business owners that aim to scale up must learn to delegate.
77% of small business owners feel the effects of work fatigue, especially within the first 10 years of launch. A small business is the manifestation of a dream and the one who brings that dream to life is under a great deal of pressure to succeed. To maintain the business, it is critical to train others to keep the wheels turning in the office and out in the field so you can focus on strategic moves that will drive profits and sustainability.
Design step-by-step workflows for some of the most time-consuming tasks and then turn them over to administrative personnel or partners who are more comfortable with those kinds of duties. Use task management tools like Asana to make it easier to assign and oversee the work done by your employees.
Create and then trust your team to help take your business to the next level. It may be the only way to get there.
Over to you
Expanding your small business might look easy on paper but it is no small task. However, it can be made easier and if you plan out your strategy, break it up into functional areas and use the right technological tools to make each area more efficient and self-sufficient. Now it’s your turn to take the first step and start your journey to become an industry giant!