The new year offers us a time to start all over again. This blank slate can be equally exciting and terrifying, but before you jump into action, take the time to understand clearly what your goals and visions are, especially for your business.
For one thing, technology plays a huge role in the world of business. Whether you are hoping to nudge your sales up a bit or truly transform the numbers in your favor, here are three questions to consider so you can harness the power of technology and finally increase your sales.
One thing is for certain: technology and how it affects your business should no longer be on the sidelines of how you strategize your game plan.
If you are in business alongside other individuals, use these ideas below to strike up a conversation. If you are a sole entrepreneur, take these first few weeks of the year and evaluate what your relationship with technology really looks like.
Ask yourself what you would like your relationship with technology to look like. Does the thought of incorporating more elements related to technology into your business frighten you? Overwhelm you? Make you immediately anxious? Does it seem like fun?
No matter where you stand in proximity to tech and the digital sphere, take heart that you can gain all the tools you need. If success is what you are working towards and you have an “I can do it” attitude, there is hope.
Ask yourself these three questions:
As a business, what is the current status of our web-based presence?
As business changes throughout the years, so does the attitude and expectations of consumers, customers, clients, and potential consumers, customers, and clients. A website is a necessity for any successful business.
Customers are growing more and more used to finding out and exploring their current area through the use of technology. When there is not a website associated with a store, shop, or restaurant, that business can instantly lose a sense of credibility in the eyes of the customer. Customers expect a certain customer experience and if you are lacking a website or a profile on popular social media sites, then you are already losing business.
The popularity of online shopping can also be another format to offer your consumers, and boost sales tremendously. In your current business, does having a platform for online shopping make sense? If it does, what would it take for you to incorporate an online shopping option into your business strategy?
What is our business relationship like on social media?
Social media is fundamentally about building a relationship. When people follow or friend you, they want to be in the know. Just like a relationship in real life, to make it work a sincere effort needs to come from everyone involved. If someone has taken an interest in your business, it is up to you to give them a glimpse into your world.
Everyone can play the game of social media differently. If you are in the business of selling sweet and savory pies for lunch, you want to make sure you post your lunch menu well before noon so those who are making lunch plans as soon as they arrive at their desk at nine o’clock can make their lunchtime destination decisions. How can you make that fun? What ways could you use social media to do “menu reveals?” If you are a woodworker, try taking “behind the scenes” photos of custom projects as they come along. If you sell stationery, take pictures of a shipment and delivery to let customers know when new greeting cards have arrived.
What makes sense to you in your business? How can adding in a bit of fun, imagination, and personality transform the way you consider social media and your own business?
Remember, relationships go both ways.
The more you share, the more your followers will have opportunities to interact, and vice versa.
Stay current. Use humor. Find what works for sharing the nuanced elements of your own business life. Ultimately, as you continue to build your brand and your base, customers will be more likely to stop by.
What is our relationship to the ways in which we use technology in our business every day?
Be honest with yourself. Are you resistant to change? In business, feeling comfortable with the way things “have always been” can leave your business, tragically, in the dust. Change is the only constant, so if you are running a small business, what “works” can become the norm, but it may actually be stifling your own growth.
What feels complicated about your business practices now? When you have that answer, consider how implementing certain technology strategies could make your life easier. Updating your checkout technology, like implementing something as simple as Square (the card reader that you can plug directly into a smartphone or tablet) could actually help simplify things.
When you cut down on certain time-consuming manual processes and turn to technology instead, you will be able to focus on more important aspects of running a business, like spending time with customers again.
When you’re not crossing your fingers hoping your antique credit card machine successfully processes a credit card, you can mill about your space and touch base with your customers. You could find out how they heard about your business or simply finish the projects you start but can never seem to finish.
Consider these three questions as you start planning your business strategies for 2018. Saving time and saving money can be by-products of striking up a new relationship to technology, and as you increase sales, well then, that’s just a win, win, win.
Do you have another technology idea that helps improves sales? We’d love to hear it! Comment below with something that has worked for your own small business.