You need to have a website in today's world. Website is a money-making tool. When you are sleeping or even closing the shop, your website is still doing business for you. It is generating revenue without any intervention. It is even creating the possibility to reach your business and services to different parts of the world. Your business website is your business - this is you and your brand building personality altogether. It helps to become trustworthy amongst the customers. When you have a full-functional website with the integration of social media platforms, it helps you keep things pretty uniform across the board. You can offer so many things to your customers even without going to them. Or, they may come to you at any cost. Your website is creating a bridge between your customers and you. The website is making you understand that you are a legitimate business personality. In addition, it is contributing to potential for interaction. This would be a source of contact without buzzing your phone.
One thing to remember is that buyers nowadays know more than the sellers. They will visit your site and make decisions about the quality of your products and services. Customers do read your reviews, watch your videos, and do other web validation. Now if you have a website, created in the 90's, it may tarnish your credibility immediately and make you look like an amateur. You need to constantly update your website along the line. So we see that having a website is not just enough. You need to nurture it like everything you do in your business. Upload nice images as it demands. Many apps are available that you can use to edit images and make things look good! You can even post a short video ahead of an upcoming special event. Google has some free apps that you can even use to edit video contents as well. If you want to learn how to edit your video, just search in YouTube and you will get it.
You must have social media business page. You need to create business page in different platforms like Facebook business page, G+ page, YouTube Channel, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram page etc. Besides, a B2C (business-to-customer) connection is very important, which offers location-based business search and reviews like yelp or Foursquare. Share things in detail about your business (hours, service offer, and appointment link) by creating your business profile. Monitor customer feedback related to your business, and respond to the concerns raised in reviews. Consider its free promotion and advertisement (although paid promotions are also available, you do not need to buy it). Keep your information updated, and pay attention to keywords and SEO (search engine optimisation) in crafting descriptions. Yelp listings in particular feature prominently in Google searches for local businesses. You can't post a link in a review (Yelp will flag those and potentially suspend your profile), but you can develop a reputation for reliable reviews. When you are creating the cover photos for social media business page, please try to match with colours and texts across the platforms; it will carry your brand and recognition.
You need to have an app these days. Our world is getting smaller day by day. Almost everything is coming under the grip. Nowadays, smartphones are millions of times more powerful than all of NASA's combined computing in 1969 when they went to the moon. That's the year when human beings set their foot on the moon for the first time. Let's pick an example, the iPhone 6 uses Apple-designed 64 bit Cortex A8 ARM architecture composed of approximately 1.6 billion transistors. It operates at 1.4 GHZ and can process instructions at a rate of approximately 1.2 instructions every cycle in each of its 2.0 cores. That's 3.36 billion instructions per second. More people are browsing internet through their phones than their desktops. As a result, the number of mobile users today is greater than the number of desktop users! Apps have the built-in capacity to work faster than websites. So, your customers may want something faster, and easily doable.
Nowadays, you must need a cloud-based platform like drop box, one drive, or Google Drive to run your business. In most of the cases, these are free and affordable. You can run your business efficiently even if you are away from business office. Your clients can drop their files in it. Or, you can share your files with them without hassle. These platforms have the ability to sync your business data across the devices like your desktop and the phone. Precisely, these platforms can be used for storing, synchronising and sharing of files and photos so that you as business owners can access them from any device or location. All of your employees are connected and have got access equally as well. Interestingly, these platforms are either 100 per cent free or affordable.
You also need to use some kind of note-taking apps, for example, Evernote, Google Keep, or Notejoy etc. We are not recommending which one is the best suitable for you. Evernote and Google Keep are the ones that let the users create and store audio notes or voice-to-text dictated notes, memos, checklists and images. Notejoy is good to take notes. The biggest difference is that, Evernote, at least right now, is a much more mature app. Another app, good for small business owners, mostly businesses in transport industry, is called Voxer that works on the move. It has the ability to translate your voice to text. All these technologies are easy to use and millions of users are using the same globally. As a small business owner, you might not have enough helping hands. In such case, you need to use technology to become more efficient. You as business owners should consider using these technologies without further delay.
Radyan Rahave and his co-writers are working for Radyan-IT Inc., which is a Texas-based IT company having a liaison office in Bangladesh.
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