There is no doubt that the Internet has revolutionised our lives, both on a personal level and in the way we do business. Businesses, small and large, have tapped the power of the web in order to have access to more customers; the benefit is twofold: more customers and the tools to offer them a more personalised and tailored service. All of this is great news for those tech savy entrepreneurs out there who have mastered all the latest technologies, but what about those who are clueless when it comes to a computer? Well, they are going to have to get learning! New technologies will be the diffentiating factor and small business owners and entrepreneurs that have yet to familiarise themselves with these technologies really need to get their skates on if they dont want to be left behind!
So how can modern technologies be used to help entrepreneurs and Small Businesses? Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
Offer a More Personalised Service and Make it Easy for Customers and Clients to Contact You
Some might argue that the beauty of the internet is that you have access to customers and can actually carry out transactions with them without ever having to see or even speak to them; whilst this is true, we musn’t forget that talking to customers and offering a more personalised level of service can be an important factor in winning new customers and, perhaps more importantly, keeping hold of exixting ones!
Technology has made it possible to have the convenience of an Internet business while still talking and being personal with your customers. Technologies like Skype or Messenger allow you to talk to your customers at the touch of the button; video conferencing software and services allow you to have business meetings or give a business talk; Forums or Message Boards allow customers to ask questions relating to your business. The great news is that you can get access much of this technology at affordable prices and in many cases, for free!
Advertising your business
There are all kinds of new and unique ways to advertise your business online. PPC Ads, online yellow pages, banners, are some of the more “well known” methods but there are more…..and many of them are free. You can submit press releases about new products and services, use Social networking sites like Facebook to reach new customers and potential business partners and you can also submit your websites or blogs to specialised directories making it easier for your target customers to find your business online.
If you are a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur, you probably can’t afford to pay for an expensive TV commercial? The alternative? How about a small hand help video camera? Nowadays you can find mini pocket cameras with High Definition quality for as little as $150. You’ll find that they are easy to use and will allow you to produce videos and post them to You Tube or one of the many video distribution sites; you only have to invest a little time but the benefits can be substantial. Your videos can help you deliver your marketing message in a more personal way; customers like to put a face to the company they are dealing with. If you are really creative, you may just find your recently uploaded video going viral and allowing you access to whole new base of customers. An example: thousands of blenders have been sold simply because of the popularity of the “Will it Blend” video series – a simple but very clever idea which has given this company exposure that would have cost millions as a TV commercial!
Keeping customers up to date
Having a presence on the Internet will also allow a small business to keep their customers informed about their products and services. They can visit your blog, subscribe to your RSS feeds, or even sign up for your latest webinar or newsletter. With a little work to set these systems up, you can really offer customers a more personal and individual touch every time they log on.
The opportunities available are endless. As a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur, you just have to keep your ear to the ground and invest a little time and effort in keeping up to date with new technologies and how you can apply them to your business. One of the aims of this blog is to provide you with a regular flow of information that you can easily use to keep at the forefront of your industry, so keep reading….. 😉
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