If you’re a new SME business owner looking to take advantage of all that technology can offer your company, IT firms such as Computers In The City (https://www.computersinthecity.co.uk/about-us/) can help illustrate the different types of digital services and products you can use to power-up your business.
The question is, how do you implement them in a manner which will be productive for your particular scenario?
Profit is the bottom line for all businesses. If a company can reduce the amount of work required to achieve a higher level of profit, that’s a bonus. In today’s digital world, more work doesn’t necessarily mean more profit. It’s all about achieving targets in a smarter way using ‘smart’ technology.
What’s Changed This Year?
Just ten to fifteen years ago, the internet wasn’t the major business platform it is today. There were a few big names in the eCommerce space, but the small guys were still relying heavily on physical world sales.
After the pandemic of 2020, all that has changed; now, even single-man operations are spending significant time and effort carving out space for themselves on the internet.
The key takeaway to understand and implement this year is that being online is more important than being physically available for customers.
How Are Businesses Achieving Targets?
For small businesses making less than $5 million a year in revenue, it is quite common to spend about 7% of total revenue on marketing expenses. This covers both online and offline marketing.
In the USA alone, physical world marketing such as billboards, newspapers, TV, and radio is a multi-billion dollar industry. However, a significant marketing problem arises when we measure the effectiveness of these methods. While this isn’t to say these methods aren’t effective, they’re becoming increasingly outdated because people are now spending more time with smart devices and naturally, will be more influenced by messages they receive through the mediums they spend the most time on.
2 Sides of The Coin
Profit is just as much about pushing sales up as it is about pushing expenses down – and keeping them at a level where they provide maximum utility.
Similarly, smart business isn’t just about being able to perform internal processes efficiently, but also about being able to intelligently meet consumer demands. In today’s world, consumers are very different from what they used to be just a couple decades ago, and technology plays a vital role in changing their actions and behaviors.
Implementing technology will have a two-pronged effect: on one end, it will help business operations and on the other, it will affect the image consumers build about the company.
How Is Technology Going to Enhance Business Performance?
Less Downtime and Improved Efficiency
Just as work moved from unskilled to skilled workers and then from skilled workers to machinery, today it’s moving from high-tech machinery to advanced software and digital services.
Things such as task automation, digital marketing campaigns, and full-time system monitoring services make it possible to decrease the possibility of errors to near zero and increase efficiency by many folds. When processes are delegated to a digital system, the cost decreases over time.
For SME’s who want action-loops that happen on time, every time – with the same amount of zest each time – digital solutions are the way to go.
Why Stay Local?
The online marketplace is by default an international arena. If you specifically want to keep your products and services local that’s your choice, but if you want to cater to a global audience, nothing is stopping you.
Considering that it’ll cost about the same to function locally or globally, it makes a lot more sense to cater to a wider audience using the same budget.
The internet has made global trade easier than ever, when just a few decades ago it was something only large investors and big companies could afford.
Online businesses don’t face the same problems as physical stores such as physical theft, damage to property, and outside factors like lockdowns. However, eCommerce has its own set of problems.
The upside is that with the right digital tools such as cloud storage, protected network routes, backup, and restoring functions, these potential risks can be greatly reduced. There’s always a chance, but a much lower chance of things going wrong if you’re prepared, and a much higher chance of recovery, too.
How Is Technology Going to Enhance Client Experience?
Home Shopping Experience
Undoubtedly, people are shopping from home significantly more since the onset of the pandemic, not out of choice, but necessity.
This can only be done via the internet, and businesses choosing to stay offline are not only missing out on this opportunity, but ultimately hurting themselves.
Even for expensive products like luxury items or large investment products that people would rather see before they buy, being available online gives the business an edge, even if the client doesn’t purchase online. Just offering these services speaks volumes about the business and its approach.
Social Media Marketing
While many businesses have websites, social media is where most of your audience is spending their time. If you can show up on mainstream social media sites, not only are you visible to a massive market, but it’s a great way to funnel traffic to your main website.
Sure, search engine optimizations and web page management are important, but you have to play in the clients’ arena if you want to grab their attention.
Social media pages are so performance-based and feature-loaded these days that you may not even need a website – you can do almost everything needed directly from your social media page.
If you want to take a digital business seriously, you must consider the entire population that you’re catering to online.
Different demographics have different systems and procedures in place. If you want to address a global audience, then you need to keep things such as payment processes, shipping services, product policies, and legal matters in mind.
Investing in research to be able to operate globally may involve spending some money and hiring some more helping hands, but it will be well worth it when you start expanding your business to a global level.
Approaching business from a global perspective adds significant value to your company in the eyes of customers. Even if you’re working as a 1-man team, appearing like a global enterprise online makes you look like a big, reputable, and trustable vendor to prospective clients and customers.