Chapter 3 – Useful Business Tools
Utilising the power of digital tools.
The biggest change in business scene in the last 20 years is the development of technology used in all areas of businesses including marketing.
You may have great profitable products and services you want to offer for your potential customers, but if they don’t know that your products and services exist, you will not sell them. That’s the bottom line.
Whether it is a traditional brick and mortar business with a physical shop or home-based business offering products and services, it is important more than ever to understand the digital economy. The Internet has brought consumers a new opportunity to buy things. The Internet has also brought many opportunities for business owners.
There are many digital tools available which are all accessible for small businesses. These could be used in all aspects of business from selling and marketing, customer services, automations, financial transactions, business administrations, accounting and product distributions, to name a few.
Here are some examples you can start using if relevant to your business;
- An active website where prospects can learn about you and your business.
- Online booking/appointment management system
- Automated telephone answering and redirection system
- Online order taking and payment processing system.
- Use of automatic/robot to answer frequently asked questions.
- An online payment processing system
- Automated email follow up system
- Use of online social media for customer generation
- Online accounting system including online financial transactions.
- Use of digitally managed delivery and logistic communication and management system
- Computer-assisted stock/inventory management system.
- Computer-generated cashflow management system
- Use of online advertisements and tracking system
Marketing methods alone are constantly changing, and it is essential for business owners to keep up with the marketing trend. As your potential customers have a lot of choices, you want your business to be chosen not only of the products and services but for the story behind the business. This does not necessarily mean that you need to establish a brand identity or designing an eye-catching logo. Your marketing plan could include not only capturing attention and making sales but also to engage with customers so that you establish an ongoing relationship whether you make a sale or not. Digital tools are some of the biggest changes and have become the essential tools in the customer generation and retention in the business landscape in recent years.
The most successful business owners are using the power of the internet to create a business which allows them the flexibility of time and location.
Learning to do this will accelerate your business immensely.
For your own business, consider a plan not just to initially attract customers but a way to continue engaging with them and to discover what your customers are looking for. Give your potential customers and existing customers good reasons to continue the conversation with you, not only once but again and again.
Think of different ways you can adopt digital tools in your business to create the flexibility of time and location. Consider how you can communicate with your prospects and existing customers on an ongoing basis to keep them engaged. Answer each question by writing them down.
1) What business tools could incorporate in your business to help free up your time?
2) What aspects of your business could you be growing more for the purpose of increasing flexibility in how you work?
3) What methods will you use more to attract, engage and communicate with prospects and customers?
4) What tools will you start using to help customers or make it easier for them to shop with you as part of improvements in customer service?
Coming up with a great idea for a business is not actually that hard.
But implementing that idea into business and for the products or services to sell and to collect revenue is all part of the business operations.
There are many things that used to be done manually by human which can now be done easily with technology.
Using such tools will help you establish your business quickly and enables you to free up time for you to grow your business faster instead of being dragged down with day to day operational tasks.