- As you create your IT budget and discover your business's technological needs and issues, be sure to involve your employees in the process.
- Thanks to video conferences and webinars, it is now possible to broaden your customer prospects and community from anywhere in the world.
- A business website is its virtual storefront.
Information technology plays a vital role in the daily running of a business. Whether it is by running your businesses’ online store to the enterprise software your company uses to record transactions, IT has helped various companies to reap tangible and intangible benefits. So, what are some things you probably overlooked when it comes to using IT for your business?
1. Curve out an IT budget
According to CIO Magazine, small-to-medium-sized companies spend 6.9% of their annual budget on IT. These SMEs are those with under $50 million in revenue. Larger businesses fork out a little less than this. According to the report, most of these SME businesses do not have a specific direction when it comes to investing in IT for their business.
When running a business, you should make a solid and proactive plan regarding technology infrastructure. If you do not know how much you are spending on your IT needs, begin by reviewing your expenses and determining exactly how much you are already investing in IT. Upon ascertaining these expenses, you can proceed to make an informed budget. If you need help to do so, you can use an IT consulting firm to help you identify your business’s tech issues and needs.
2. Training your employees
As you create your IT budget and discover your business’s technological needs and issues, be sure to involve your employees in the process. Not only does this ensure their buy-in, but it also helps you in benefitting from their deep knowledge, experience, and expertise about your business. It is also beneficial to engage your staff when making major ICT investment decisions and planning.
One of the primary factors that influence small businesses’ growth is networking with competition and potential customers. Although it is impossible to attend all the networking events in your locality, technology has come to the rescue.
Thanks to video conferences and webinars, it is now possible to broaden your customer prospects and community from anywhere in the world. All this is possible with less than half the budget you would use to attend the event physically. Thus, always ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest industry events and make a plan to attend.
Creating a social media strategy is another vital factor that will help in networking within your business circles. Establish a social media presence on all major platforms, begin marking your territory, engage with customers, and manage your brand. Aim to interact with your customers in a supportive and helpful tone as social media is all about soft selling.
4. Create a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
A good CRM system aids in maintaining a good and ongoing relationship with your customers. This business strategy capitalizes on the fact that keeping such relationships boosts profitability and growth immeasurably. With this system, businesses show their customers a united front and further provide a seamless customer experience. They also organize their customer information effectively to give them a more personalized experience and follow up efficiently with prospects.
Examples of CRM systems
As mentioned above, a good CRM system is fundamental to your enterprise’s growth, despite the size. There are various types of CRM systems. They include:
- Having multiple channels to communicate with your customers.
- Using live assistance tools.
- Automated customer support solutions.
- Continuous marketing engagement.
- Using social media for customer service.
- Develop a strong brand image, among many others.
5. Optimize your website
A business website is its virtual storefront. Its optimization plays an essential role in driving long-term business goals as it contains a clean interface and excellent conversion rate. Make sure your business website is easy to navigate when looking for information and is not text-heavy. Similarly, place your call to action button and contact details to feature prominently on the site. It is also helpful to include some top-ranking Google pages on your site to help you reach your target audience easily.
Thanks to IT, many businesses have better customer support practices, increased productivity and performance, and more savings. There are also better cybersecurity measures implemented to secure the transactions and information of such enterprises. Despite the size of your enterprise, investing in technology should be a priority for business owners. In addition to the pointers mentioned above, there are more ways IT can be a game-changer for your business.