If you’re a small business owner using digital can be a really cost-effective way to reach more customers, let them know about your brand, and encourage them to buy from you.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Digital can also do the heavy lifting for you, saving you time on back-office admin so you can focus on more important things.
If you’re a digital novice; here are four easy ways to help you make the move online.
Help customers find you online
Your website will often be the first point of call, so if you’re not online or you can’t be found you could be losing a lot of potential customers.
If you don’t have funds to pay for a web developer, there are free DIY website builders like WordPress and Wix available to help you get started. For example, Wix will create an instant website for you based on what you want, or you can create one using customizable templates already available.
Make sure your website is accessible. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for. Include accurate, concise information with clear signposting and calls to action so customers do what you want them to when they arrive at your site.
Keep posting new content regularly. Search engines love new content, and you’ll see better results if you keep your site updated. Sharing content on your social media which links back to your website will also help your keep your business in the minds of your customers.
Reach out on social media
Social media provides a really easy way to interact with customers. The days of 9-5 business hours are well and truly gone. Nowadays customers expect to be able to contact businesses 24/7 and get a response. They’re also more likely to get in touch with a business on Facebook or Twitter than pick up the phone. Quite simply, if your customers are on social media, then you need to be too.
Before you start, think about your target market. Do a bit of research and find out which social media sites your customers are using and get on them. For instance, for B2C you may find that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram work best and likewise LinkedIn for B2B. If you’re a social media newbie, it may be better to just use one or two channels and focus on these rather than try and juggle multiple platforms.
You can also look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them. What are they doing right, or wrong? What social media platforms are they using, and how much engagement do they have with their customers and followers?
Manage your business from home or on the go
The pandemic showed us that business doesn’t have to be restricted to the office. Luckily, there are a number of online tools and apps which allow you to manage your business from anywhere.
Microsoft 365 is probably one of the most well-known. It has different pricing plans for businesses starting from Business Basic which provides web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You also get access to business email, file sharing, online storage, and Teams video conferencing. The Premium package includes all of the above as well as advanced cyberthreat protection, device management and all of Microsoft’s Office apps. Microsoft also offers Online Office which allows you to use online versions of Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free.
Online invoicing systems
There are plenty of tools which can make managing finances much easier for you, with the click of a button. Online invoicing offers a host of benefits for businesses – it’s fast and simple, cost-effective, provides 24/7 access, is environmentally friendly, and it puts you firmly in control.
Zoho Invoice is a free invoicing platform for small businesses which has a number of features available including the ability to bill multiple customers, create invoices and credit notes, automate payment reminders, collect payments online 24/7, scan receipts and much more.
There are plenty of other online invoicing tools out there such as QuickBooks so shop around and work out which one is best for you.