Many local business leaders fail to invest in modern technologies enough for production, promotion, lead generation and customer service purposes. Instead, they use outdated tools. Typically, the reason they choose older tech is that people in general dislike change and stick with what they know that has worked well for them in the past. Some business owners are worried about their budgets. They don’t see the benefits of upgrading to newer tools when faced with upfront costs.
If you’re a business owner who still relies on older tech, it’s time to perform a benefit-cost analysis by considering the following ways new technologies can benefit your business.
Improve Overall Communication
Plenty of modern hardware and software products can improve your communication with employees and customers. For example, a company-wide chat program can make communication easier and near-instantaneous between project and team managers and individual workers. Video conferencing and online webinar tools can help you optimize meetings with employees and vendors located offsite. For better customer contact scenarios, you can find a wide variety of options that range from contact tools like an email web form and live chat to smartphone apps.
Reach More People
You probably already use some modern tools, such as the internet, that can help you reach more people. Yet, many business owners don’t use the internet to its full potential. This amazing technology does more than allow you to promote your company on your business website and target members of a target market via static and dynamic advertisements on other sites. You can use search engine optimization techniques on your site and elsewhere to drive traffic to your business. You can also advertise your offline brick-and-mortar location, services, business hours and driving directions without internet users visiting your website via tools linked to local search engine results, such as a search engine business profile card, online map sites and business review sites. Social media platforms can also help you reach more people. You can generate interest and sales via a social media business page, local group pages and associated tools through a variety of methods, including discussions, polls and contests.
Optimize Sales Transactions
With the latest technologies available, a business owner can also take control of their transaction processes to offer more payment options and better checkout solutions. For example, you can use point of sale hardware and software tools to offer and process gift cards or handle credit card and other transactions at offsite location events. With a smartphone, card reader and portable printer, you can turn your cell phone into a point of sale device. You can even set up an online product catalog, if applicable, and checkout system. If you don’t sell products, you can find software that allows you to provide customers with online access to their service account and options to see previous billing and print out reports about their transactions.
Streamline Back-end Processes
Lastly, newer technologies make it possible for you to save time and money when dealing with back-end processes like office management and associated paperwork. With specialized software designed for businesses in your industry, you can automate many tasks that would normally require a lot of time and effort for you and your employees to complete manually. For example, if you have a roofing contractor business, you can choose roofing contractor software that helps you organize projects, order and track materials needed for a job, track a project’s progress and manage insurance claims. These types of software solutions are also often coupled with other services by the companies that offer them. For example, you might choose a company that also offers payment collection services so that you can focus on leads and sales instead of wasting time constantly trying to get paid.
These are only a few types of modern hardware and software solutions that can improve your local business. As your company grows, your perspective about technology must grow with it. It’s time to recognize that outdated technologies aren’t saving you money and that many modern ones are inexpensive. These tools are also easy to implement and learn. As for solutions that require a moderate upfront investment: local businesses can typically recoup their initial investment within the first year after installing new technologies. Some business become so successful after utilizing new tech that they recoup the monies within four months or less.