Small businesses just starting out face increasing challenges as they attempt to cement their place in the market and acquire market share. For a new business, being equipped with the right tools and strategy is a large part of gaining an advantage over competitors, being noted by consumers and achieving those all-important key performance targets. One of those tools that aid in this? Technology. Technological innovation has spurred a transformation in just about every part of consumers’ lives from their home habits to their purchasing habits. The benefits that technology can produce are especially useful for small business owners trying to expand and go well beyond the design of company websites and mobile applications.
Extend Customer Experience
It is well known that a business’ customers are the cornerstone to its success. Maintaining a good customer relationship is not just good for repeat transactions but also marketing and acquiring new customers. The employment of technological tools reduces the barriers in this relationship. Responsive and customer aimed websites, targeted follow up emails and online support for after service are all examples of tools made possible with the use of technology. They are also all great examples of strategies that can be extremely effective aspects of your customer relations management strategy. Approximately 78 percent of customers would recommend a brand after great customer experience.
Customer experience has taken on a new look in recent years thanks to progress in the technological arena. Recently, 80 percent of companies competed on the basis of customer service. As consumers continue to seek a seamless experience from instore to online, techs such as chatbots and artificial intelligence are now mainstream options for small business owners to use and improve their branding and perception. These options are also now cheaper and more affordable for smaller businesses. Company websites, social media accounts, and customer relations tools can all be constructed and monitored on the go with the use of various budget-friendly computer equipment. Increased customer satisfaction means growth in customer base and profits.
Expand Your Market Options
Technology removes the barriers when it comes to market reach and that is quite important when it comes to small businesses. For those just starting out, this means that your customer base and your advertising reach is now worldwide compared to in-store limitations within the community or state. This opens up the door to a popular growth avenue: international orders. Social media networks are great tools to expand sales and your brand. Increased visibility of your brand also comes back to a boost in sales. Another ingenious and indispensable tool nowadays that small local businesses can benefit from is local SEO, which can yield amazing results in a very short time.
However, technology does not only expand your customer market but it can also be applied to your supply chain. A more streamlined and connected reordering process with the use of new inventory processing systems can reduce the gap between stock outs. New innovations also allow for a more competitive supply process. This means small business owners have access to more suppliers and more importantly, comparison tools when negotiating prices. Better prices can mean lower costs and better profits; providing the space to expand. Wider market access also provides a viable foundation for expansion and collaboration plans e.g. sourcing of new products to launch to the market.
Widen Your Financial Access
Your customer base is not the only thing that can grow thanks to technology. Financing has traditionally been limited to banks and brick and mortar lending institutions. However, the explosion of the fintech sector has meant that credit options have moved beyond traditional and so have the terms. Options such as P2P platforms, digital banks, and crowdfunding all provide legitimate e-financing sources for small businesses looking to acquire the capital to further their expansion. To execute most growth plans such as adding an additional branch or increasing production alongside aggressive marketing, will require some outlay of funds. What technology can do in this aspect is widen the options for small business owners and improve the chances of you being able to implement your growth plans.
With these strategies in place, technology can help small business owners grow their operations. Before long, your budding company will expand into new markets and your customers will become loyal to your brand, as you will have the strategies in place to promote satisfaction with your company.