Starting a business and keeping it afloat is never an easy task for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of economies worldwide.
However, they face several crippling challenges including difficulty in accessing funds, lack of expertise, market penetration, and the huge competition from existing businesses.
As such, small business owners need to do more by being creative and adopting various strategies to remain in business. One of the surest ways to achieve this is to incorporate technology into your business operations.
Technological advancement has made doing business easier than before. Currently, there is something for everything, from production to sales and marketing. Small business owners can take advantage of technology to improve productivity, work efficiency, and reach out to more customers.
Reaching More Customers
The utmost dream of every business owner is to break into the existing market, create a strong customer base, and even reach out to more people. As more people are gaining interest in online shopping, every small business needs a digital presence.
You can do this through:
Creating a Website
Your customers and potential ones shouldn’t struggle to know about your company. By creating a business website, you can reach a larger audience, and customers can easily know everything about your business, from products and services to working days and hours.
The website can have various interfaces including product catalogs to promote online sales with options to buy and payment methods.
Before or after creating a website, you need a domain name that resonates with your business. Even though you can do this by yourself, relying on a domain brokerage firm gives you better options and packages.
Leveraging the Power of Social Media
As a small business owner, you don’t need any expensive marketing campaigns to get your products and services to potential consumers. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. have become powerful marketing and visibility tools.
The first step is to create a business page on any of these platforms, with enough information. Your page should contain a link to your website for verification and credibility sake.
Afterward, create product/services catalogs, and provide details about each by sometimes adding prices. Creating eye-catching product displays is very important in social media campaigns and sales.
You have the option to run adverts to reach a specific group of persons by setting targets and demography. This helps you to reach new clients by age and location.
Start a Podcast
You can increase brand awareness by creating a podcast. With a podcast, you can bring in experts and interview them about modern trends in your industry. This brings a chance to introduce your brand and products/services to your audience. For a podcast to succeed, it also requires hard work and attention. Adding transcripts of the interviews you conducted to your website will increase the searchability of your podcast. Doing this increases the likelihood of someone finding your podcast when searching for a particular term mentioned during an interview. It is therefore crucial to learn how to transcribe an interview and use it effectively.
Create an Online Store
Aside from setting up a brick-and-mortar presence, you can also set up online stores to serve online shoppers. No matter the products, or the services you are rendering, the online store would serve a larger audience across the globe.
You can set a shop on your website, social media pages, or eCommerce platforms like Alibaba, eBay, Amazon, or Shopify and even have business text messaging on your mind.
Most small business owners run a “one-man show” due to the lack of funds to hire extra hands. They take charge of almost everything from administrative duties to marketing.
This undoubtedly affects productivity and diverts attention from core business duties like finding investors and reaching out to new clients and suppliers among others.
To enhance productivity, you should:
Automate Some Administrative Duties
Time is money, so you can’t waste all such productive time on tasks you can easily automate. As a small business owner, you should fully concentrate on core business duties to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Why waste time responding to email and social media inquiries when you can easily set automatic responses, especially for frequently asked questions? You should also automate repetitive tasks including invoicing, billing, payroll management, and schedule management.
Delegate Some Duties to a Virtual Assistant
It is perfectly understandable for a small business owner to want to handle almost everything at the start. The financial and logistic constraints sometimes necessitate such a decision.
However, this cannot be you forever. Business growth comes with its inevitable tasks increment and rises in demand.
If you continue to work alone during such a period, you may have to overwork, and you know what that means. Soon stress and anxiety may take over you, making you lose focus, or break you down completely.
To enhance productivity, you need to delegate some duties by hiring a full-time worker or virtual worker. With technology, you can easily hire virtual workers to undertake real-time administrative duties. You can hire VAs from platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, etc.
Improve Workplace Communication
Effective communication is key to the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of every business. It also enhances collaborations among employees and reduces errors. Small businesses can therefore set up a line of communication across all departments for workers to reach each other easily.
There are several platforms workers can collaborate, share ideas, and complete tasks. You can make use of communication and collaboration apps like Google Workforce, Slack, Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Team.
Proper time management is key to enhancing productivity and efficiency. Manage your time well by having a to-do list for each working day and following it meticulously. Your to-do list should include break time because a tired mind is prone to mistakes.
You can also plan your daily or weekly schedule with google calendar or any scheduling app. Make sure that the most important tasks are given priority when scheduling your tasks.