So you’ve been in the game for a while now, having built a busy, profitable business that’s been ticking along for years.
But your rivals have all embraced new technology and virtual offices, and they’re enticing your customers away with their Facebook pages, mobile-friendly websites and digital offers.
How can you adapt to this technology so you not only stay in the game, but take your business to the next level?
It’s not as scary as you might think. Here are some great tips to get you up there with the best of them.
If you’re still struggling with hefty desktop computers, it’s time to consider using your office programs and storing your documents in the cloud. You can say goodbye to that annoying nightly backup, and stop worrying about server breakdown. Cloud storage frees you from the hard-drive and allows you to access your valuable files and documents on any device connected to the internet.
Choose a provider who can offer top security for protection of your business data, efficient and reliable network connection and fast internet speeds. If it’s a whole new world, be prepared to do your homework, investigate the subject thoroughly and ask lots of questions.
If new technology totally freaks you out, firstly don’t panic, and secondly swallow your pride. There’s no shame in being overwhelmed. Get a recommendation for a good consultant who can guide you through the process, helping you choose, install and use your new devices and systems.
Don’t let your old website leak customers through poor design, old-fashioned text presentation and confusing contact/feedback forms. And definitely don’t let them go because you’ve failed to optimise your site for mobile use. The majority of people now access websites through their phones. If your content is hard to read on Android and iPhone devices, potential customers will simply check out your rivals. Have a look at your own website on a mobile device. You might be shocked by what you see!
Yes, you need to learn to use it. And no, you won’t self-destruct if you do! It might seem like these networks are a bit silly and just for socialising, but actually they are now key business tools.
Facebook and Twitter are where customers connect, sharing information about their business and shopping experiences. You need to know what your customers are saying about you, and start communicating with them on the digital platforms they now prefer.
Don’t swim against the tide – you’ll drown. Ride the wave with everyone else, and learn to use social media tools in a manageable way to benefit your business. Again, get expert help if it’s too much – everyone has to start somewhere.
Did you realise you can now ditch the old fax machine which constantly breaks down, chews paper and blocks important messages? Virtual faxing is here. You can send and receive faxes via email and store your entire fax inventory in the cloud. Want to know more? A company like mBox can offer a complete faxing package, helping to turn your office into a virtual one and drastically reducing your paperwork.
With a smartphone and cloud technology, you can access vital files, send emails or faxes, and update social media anywhere you happen to be in the world – up the street or thousands of miles away. This relatively tiny device really is one of the smartest tricks for taking your business digital and achieving a virtual office. There are also lots of resources available to help you learn about what is essentially a computer in your pocket, and make the most of it.
So there you have it. Once you start employing technology, in the right way, you’ll wonder why you ever struggled with fax machines, desktop computers and filing cabinets!