There was a time when everything was done by hand. When prospects were stored in a rolodex, and when accounting was a matter of entering figures in journals and ledgers. There was a time when advertising meant placing ads in local media and hoping they reached your prospects, and when it took days or weeks to send information by snail mail.
Thank goodness those days are over, and technology has become affordable for businesses of all sizes. If you’re not already taking advantage of all the technology out there in your digital marketing strategy, you’re missing out on some valuable opportunities.
Digital Security Is Critical
Before you take any other steps to implement technology in your business, make sure you have security taken care of. According to a variety of sources and studies, approximately 60% of cybercrime attacks are against small businesses, so if your network is not secure, your emails are hackable and your website is not running an SSL certificate, make sure you get those items checked of the list first.
The Cloud Makes Sense for Small Business
Once you have security basics taken care of, it might make sense to follow the lead of 92% of other small business owners, and start taking advantage of cloud-based solutions. These not only offer cost effective storage options, but usually have improved security versus self-hosted solutions (and you don’t need to worry about catastrophic losses of physical servers or on site storage), and they make long distance or even global collaboration possible.
If you’re not already using the cloud for storage or enterprise software, it’s definitely time to investigate the many opportunities out there.
Marketing and CRM
Even if you don’t use technology for any other elements of your business, you need to be using it for marketing and customer relationship management. The possibilities offered by technology to reach more people, more consistently. Here are a few of the technologies you need to be using to achieve your marketing and customer retention goals:
- A great website. This is the cornerstone of digital management, and since it can also incorporate things like a web store or a customer only area, it’s a flexible tool.
- An autoresponder or mass email system, so that you can store your contacts, and reach out to them regularly.
- Social media platforms, linked to your site, so you can get the word out about your business.
- A company blog to keep your site fresh and relevant.
- Marketing metrics with tools like Google’s analytics and Webmaster tools.
- A CRM system to track everything.
Simpler, Better, Faster
The truth is that technology can and does make nearly every aspect of your business simpler, better and faster. It can help to streamline processes, speed up production, manage various aspects of your company and reach out to customers. If you are not using technology to improve your business, then you are almost certainly missing out.
If you think you might be falling behind in terms of technology, take a step back, do an audit of the various areas of your business, and how you might be able to improve them, and then get started. Small steps can make a big difference, and the sooner you start embracing technology, the better you’ll do in the long term.