A few short decades ago, most businesses relied on a lot of paper and pencil methods to handle tasks like monitoring inventory, sending payments to vendors and employees, and reaching out to customers. Business owners had ledgers filled with expense reports all done by hand. Checks were mailed, and ads geared to new customers were also mailed or tucked into newspapers.
How times have changed.
Now, thanks to technology, you can streamline all of the aforementioned examples, getting them done much more quickly and efficiently. As for specific ways that you can use tech to improve your business, check out these tools, techniques and ideas:
Harness the Power of Social Media
Instead of reaching out to current and prospective customers via snail mail, you can now use the many social media sites to contact and connect with all sorts of people—all without licking a single stamp. If you are launching a new business, start pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the word out about your venture and what products and services you are offering. Invite your current list of contacts to like and follow your new page and spread the word with others.
If you are savvy with a video recorder, you might also consider adding some videos on YouTube about your new or established company. If you need some inspiration on how to do this effectively, search for a successful company in a similar industry. For example, global health and beauty company Amway is a great example of a business that uses technology and social media to its advantage. The company’s videos explain how Independent Business Owners make money with Amway, in addition to providing product descriptions and more.
Simplify Payments and Save Time Too
As a business owner, you have a lot of expenses to keep track of and payments to make. Rather than relying on the old fashioned “the check’s in the mail approach,” you can simplify your expenses by using an online invoice system. You can try a program like FreshBooks, or use your business account at your bank to set up automatic, recurring payments to vendors—all online. Most of these systems are super easy and intuitive to use and can be done from your smartphone or laptop either in the office or on the go. By freeing up hours of time previously devoted to manual payments, you can devote more energy toward adding products and services, and/or staff building events—all of this will allow you to be a better business owner.
Offer Better Customer Service
Another way to use technology to your advantage is to improve your customer service. Even if you already have an amazingly friendly and intelligent team that works for you, members are probably not willing to be available 24/7. You can set up an interactive website and/or online chat support services for those times when you are closed—this way, customers can still get the help they need at all hours of the day and night.
Use Email to Reach Customers
In addition to social media, email newsletters are an effective way to stay in touch with your customers, as well as attract new ones. Instead of paying your hard-working team to tediously address and stamp letters that advertise upcoming deals, you can create one amazing email that is then blasted out to your entire customer base at once—again, freeing up valuable time to let you pursue other goals related to your company. If you wish, you can also purchase verified email lists that will help you to target potential new customers—all through the power of technology and your handy laptop computer.
Technology: Here to Help You to Be a Great Business Owner
The technology is there, ready to help you launch or grow your company. All you have to do is embrace it and use it in as many ways as possible. By streamlining your tasks, saving valuable time and reaching customers through social media and email, you will definitely use technology to help your company succeed, and be a better owner in the process.