For some small business owners, the pace of developments in the digital age can seem a bit overwhelming. Yet avoiding the issue is probably not the answer. We offer some practical suggestions to help you get started.
How to make your business more digital
Do phrases like ‘the cloud’, ‘social media’ and ‘online platforms’ have you cowering behind your trusty typewriter? For many business owners, the digital world can be a scary and intimidating place. But it doesn’t need to be that way. There’s a whole world of ways to easily ‘get online’, be it through accounting/ reporting software, a rocking website or social media. Used effectively, these tools can significantly increase your customer reach and directly drive people to your business and in turn boost your bottom line.
First of all, what do we mean by digital? Well, essentially this covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Technology (accounting/reporting software)
- Social Media
- Digital marketing (online advertising)
Being “digital” in today’s business world is critical, given so much business is done online. But determining what is relevant for your business and knowing where to start can be a challenge.
We break down our top five digital tips:
1 Know your customer
When it comes to being digital, knowing your customer is key. The more information you can build on your customer base, the better you can tailor your digital efforts to target your desired market. For example, if you know your customer base predominantly uses Facebook, perhaps you can reach them directly by sharing promotions/events. This is a free and easy way to engage with your customers directly. Or maybe you can reach a whole new market if you introduce online bookings, opening up an international customer base that is currently neglected due to time zone complications and traditional telephone bookings.
2 Focus on a few key areas and do them well
There is little point in having every social media platform if you do not post on them regularly, or advertising in several digital publications if it drives zero sales. It’s important to use your resources and valuable time effectively. Pick the areas that you anticipate will drive the most results and focus on those. Doing these well, will be a more effective, than spreading yourself too thin.
3 Check out the competition
It’s important to benchmark yourself against other businesses in your sector. Are they striding ahead because they drive sales online? Or perhaps the competition is capitalising on useful management information being reported from cloud-based software, which allows them to make informed strategic decisions on a regular basis. Knowing what’s working for others can help shape the direction your digital strategy should take.
4 Set a digital strategy
As with all areas of your business, setting a strategy is critical and the same applies to the digital space. Plan what steps you are going to take and what you want to focus on. It may initially be setting up or redesigning a meaningful website, committing to regular social media posts or moving to a cloud-based accounting system. Whatever it may be, make a plan and commit to implementing it.
5 Ask for help
Not everyone has the time, resources or skills necessary to successfully implement digital strategies alone. So, ask for help! There is plenty of it available. Here’s a list of the ways we can help boost your digital profile:
- Implementation and migration to cloud based accounting software with necessary training;
- Setup of regular cloud-based management reporting, producing meaningful management information;
- Scholes CA app where you can store and organise receipts, log business trips and much more ;
- Business IT health check, including hardware and software review;
- Website design.
Taking small steps into the digital space can directly impact the performance of your business. By following the guidance above, you can build a structured, succinct digital plan, to help boost your business profile and ultimately increase sales and profits for your business. Or just contact us today.