Friday, October 15, 2010, AM | 5 Comments
Technology can and has played a big part in establishing and growing small businesses over the years, especially the last five years or so.
Social Networking aside, there are software applications – some are free – that can enhance your everyday business life conveniently and cheaply as well.
Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networks can at present and will in future play a significant role in making your small business move forward in greener pastures. They are good places for marketing and getting the word out.
The most important thing you can do for your small business is to install and / or upgrade your Customer Service software. No business can survive without good CS and ZenDesk – a help-desk company – can help you serve your customers better.
Have some ways to make mobile payment a part of your small business. The most innovative tool goes by the name Venmo. It’s free, very easy to use, SMS (Short Message Service) and Web-based payment network based on a concept of mutual trust to deliver mobile payments. You can link your credit card to it. Find out how mobile payments can benefit your small business.
As I mentioned earlier, you can use social networks like FaceBook and Twitter for marketing and making your present and potential customers aware of your current and future products and services. You can also use RSS Feeds to your customers. If you have business like a restaurant, you can offer freebie discounts to FourSquare and Groupon users. Find out how social networks can benefit your small business.
Social Relationship Management
Sprout Social, a provider of Social Relationship Management (SRM) services, combines several tools that businesses need to plan their social network presence. It provides a complete social media relationship management platform to serve the full spectrum of users, from the novice to the advanced power user. Its website claims “Wherever there’s conversation about your business across the web, we’ll deliver it to you. Tweets, Reviews, Blog Posts, News – you’re covered.” Find out how SRM can benefit your small business.
In the presence of social networks of various kinds, E-mail may no longer be seen as cutting edge, but it can prove a valuable tool. A simple e-mail newsletter, when used properly, can sometimes do wonders and can net big results. Find out how E-mail campaign can benefit your small business.
Videos and Online Forums
You can use video sharing websites like Youtube and Vimeo as well as online forums to get the word out about your business. Do research and understand how to communicate better with customers using video and forums.
Try to move toward a completely paperless business. You will be saving time, thousands of dollars, tons of trees, and maybe even a few lives. You can use Formotus and SureScripts – if you have a pharmacy – to create custom forms and send them to your vendors and customers over a secure network. Find out how paperless technology can benefit your small business.
In a Nutshell
Using the above mentioned technology as well as others can establish and grow your small business against the big guns in the market you are competing with. Use them wisely and intelligently and there is no reason why your small business can’t compete with the big guys in your niche market.