Today more than ever, technology surrounds us…
From social media to artificial intelligence the rapid expansion in both the availability and capabilities of technology has given even the least tech-savvy among us new and profound ways to save time and make our lives easier.
And the onset of our new, connected culture isn’t just making things faster and easier for us as individuals, business owners–and increasingly, small business owners–are leveraging the technology of today to grow their profits, reduce overhead, and connect to customers with more ease than ever before.
In this article we explore four of the most important technologies out there for improving your business. Which ones are your business already using? Which ones are you missing out on? Find out below:
The first mass email advertisement was sent on May 1, 1978 by Gary Thuerk to around 400 people and resulted in Thuerk being crowned the Father of Spam….and $13 million in sales. In the 4 decades since, online advertising has expanded its scale, methods, and, most importantly, its accuracy.
Do you want your ads to only be seen by homeowners within 50 miles of your city who have houses worth more than $100k? With advertising platforms like Facebook and Google you can.
Businesses can now target customers with almost surgical precision saving precious money that in the past would have been wasted on newspaper and tv ads just to get your brand in front of people who would never buy your services.
For the longest time people didn’t mind calling to schedule appointments…but then someone invented a method that didn’t require talking to another human, and suddenly, people minded very much. Now there exists a whole category of people who only find services online.
But even if you’re not that kind of person, sometimes we as people are just not in the mood to make a call, and in those instances the companies that allow for online scheduling are the ones that get our business. Truly, every company needs a way for their customers to schedule with them online.
There’s additional reasons to add online scheduling to your business as well. Simply put; you should always have as many ways as possible for your potential customers to become your actual customers, but on top of that allowing your customers to schedule online means less work for you.
When you spend less time answering calls/flipping through your calendar it means you have more time for more important things, like making more money and growing your business.
Automating your business turns time usually spent on busy work into time to spend on anything else. For example, email marketing services (mailchimp, vertical response, etc) allow you to automate your ad campaigns to more effectively reach customer with less effort.
Automation is also useful for quality assurance. A human can forget to send out a receipt. A human can make an error copying information from a estimate to an invoice. With automation the opportunities for mistakes are much fewer. This technology has been around for a while, but until recently it required a good deal of coding skills to implement.
Now that automation has finally been given point-and-click interfaces small businesses are suddenly able to get the advantages over their competition that giant companies have been leveraging for the last decade.
Field Service Software
If it hasn’t already, field service software will change your business. I could write page after page about why you should be using field service software, but I don’t want to draw too much attention from the other items on this list, so I will summarize.
By running your customer database, reporting, invoicing, employee management, and payment processing (among other things) all from the same software not only will your business avoid the countless headaches that come with using a patchwork of different programs, it will also save time, money, and resources, plain and simple.
For example, with a software like mHelpdesk (shameless plug alert!) customers can schedule with you online, receive a confirmation email, and get a reminder text for their appointment without any human involvement from you whatsoever. You can send them an invoice and they can pay you online and without doing anything your customer database and job records will be updated.
There are a lot of different softwares out there and they all differ at least a little, so do your research to find what will best suit your business and you’ll thank yourself for it later.
How has your business benefited from leveraging new technology? Anything we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments section!
Last modified: May 15, 2017