By Henry Brown
Whether inadvertently or intentionally, a lot of small businesses can find themselves stuck in the past, failing to keep up with new business practices and tools.
Largely, this can be attributed to a lack of funds. After all, a small business isn’t exactly a global corporation, and won’t have the same vast level of resources at their disposal.
However, taking your company into the future is something you should be planning for, and it’s vital you do so in order to keep up.
Everyone from millennials to seniors keeps up with current tech, and by not doing so yourself you’re losing appeal to both current and prospective employees and to customers.
On top of technology, it’s a good idea to modernize your business practices as well. Not only will this make the company easier to run, it’ll take a big chunk of stress off your shoulders.
• Build a digital work environment – The working world is a lot different now than it was fifteen, twenty years ago. Back in those days, employers really only had one option; hire people to work on-site. And while, more often than not, this produced a fantastic employee, it did limit reach somewhat. Employers were restricted to staff living within a commutable distance, which narrows the pool of talent.
However, in 2016, you have many more options at your disposal. You can build a remote team, a company of the most talented individuals from all over the world. You don’t have to hire people based on their location. You can hire based on pure skill.
• Implement cloud services – The cloud is a relatively recent development, even by the fast-paced standards at which modern tech moves. By implementing a complete cloud computing suite inside your company, you gain the ability to scale with ease. Your server can be upgraded as you see fit, allowing for more bandwidth and storage space as your business grows.
Also, you can easily collaborate with people from anywhere, at any time, and keep all your data safely locked away.
• Offer more options to buyers – Consumers want transactions to be easy, and you owe it to your small business to grant that with. There are literally dozens of ways to accept payment. From cash and checks to the more modern likes of EPOS, PayPal, contactless and even BitCoin.
By offering these you provide greater flexibility, appealing to customers that prefer one option over the other.
• Take advantage of the viral effect – One solid video, one funny image, and your small business could be plastered on pages all over the web. It almost seems too easy! And if done right, it can be. Going viral is an inherently modern concept, but it can be achieved by several archaic methods. It’s all about being creative with your marketing. Leaflets, banners and ads are all fine, but they don’t grab attention in a thoroughly engaging fashion.
Instead, focus on skits and humor, concepts that people in any country will find amusing. You could hire dancers, deck them out in your company colors and have them dance on the streets. You could host a fancy-dress midnight walk, or paint a large mural on the side of a building.
All these stunts, and more, are things people will want to film and place on social media. After that, it’s only a matter of time before things catch fire.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.