When starting out with a business, you will probably be looking at every method out there that will give you that extra edge to succeed. After all, creating and maintaining a profitable company is much trickier than it might seem when all your initial dreams only focus on the potential rewards.
Thanks to the continued rise of technology and the Internet, there are more options available than ever to help your business grow and avoid common pitfalls. To best illustrate this, below you will find a healthy sample of ways where your business can utilize technology for your benefit.
Jump on the mobile bandwagon
Forget about desktops; mobile is where it’s at right now.
Well okay, don’t forget about desktops. However, it is important to note just how prevalent mobile usage is these days. In fact, people have been using their mobile devices longer on a daily basis than their desktops since 2014 – and the gap continues to grow each year.
As a result, it is highly recommended that you have your website optimized for mobile usage. Thankfully, this is generally included automatically with modern website themes/builders. On top of this, you should also explore the idea of producing your very own app. Because while people browse the Internet on mobile, reports suggest most of their time is spent using apps.
It’s not all about optimizing for mobile, either. There are plenty of apps on the market – from simple things like a calculator to project tracking software – that can benefit your business.
Hire the best from around the world
One of the great things about the Internet is that it opens you up to the world – and that includes your ability to hire workers. No longer do you have to be restricted to only bringing in local talent; now you can spread your wings and hire the best of the best in their respective fields.
As for how to find and hire these people, websites such as Upwork and Freelancer make it easy. Post the job you need doing (or simply headhunt a top rated freelancer), choose from the best applications, sort out payment terms, and then hire the person once everything is done. Considering this can all be done within an hour or two, it’s fair to say that it is much easier and quicker than going through a traditional hiring process!
If you don’t come across a suitable freelancer, there’s also the option of going with a specialist outsourcing firm. In general, these firms should be able to offer you that extra level of professionalism and assurance over the standard freelancer.
By the way, one other bonus of going the outsourcing route: you don’t need to pay the likes of health or dental benefits!
Use specialist software
Saying specialist software doesn’t just mean well-known programs like Photoshop and Microsoft Office. In fact, there are plenty of other software packages that can make life easy for your business.
One of the most helpful is dedicated accounting software. Now while there are various options available to suit all budgets/tastes, these accounting programs should help to keep track of those numbers all that much easier – something you’ll be thankful for when tax season rears its ugly head.
In addition, the inclusion of project management software and CRM (Custom Relations Management) software is also highly recommended. The former helps keep track of projects, while the latter places all your contacts/customers in one convenient place.
Conduct market research
Market research is certainly nothing new. However, with the Internet, conducting and getting a clearer message from your research is much more viable than traditional means.
First of all, you can set up a survey to send to prospective customers. Google forms are arguably the best option available in that regard, where you have the freedom to ask various questions that will help you gather the knowledge as to if your business idea is one that is viable or not.
Simply browsing the social media channels that your rivals use could also provide a healthy outlook with regards to knowing the market, while using Google Analytics helps to sort out those website numbers and see what is (or isn’t) working with your business.
Promote across the web
While traditional marketing methods haven’t exactly gone the way of the dodo just yet, online advertising techniques are certainly the priority for most new businesses. The reasons behind this are simple: it’s generally inexpensive, convenient and many people connect to the web on a daily basis.
As for which marketing options to choose, this is down to which you feel will best suit your business. There’s the obvious path of going with social media, which is recommended for essentially every company. Not only do you not need to spend any money with this method, yet nearly everyone is on the likes of Twitter and Facebook these days.
The likes of website banners, AdWords and other advert avenues have also been utilized over the years. You can also go creative with this type of advert – think about the possibility of sending your products to be featured by relevant YouTube channels or prominent bloggers.
Head for the cloud
Although you hear about security breaches, and you might be a little apprehensive to place your trust in cloud-based storage, there are many useful benefits over the usual means for storing your precious files and documents.
One advantage is that it boosts collaboration between team members. For instance, workers with access to a certain file will be able to access and edit it at any time and from wherever they are based. Speaking of which, it provides flexibility to employees who might need/want to stay at home to do their work.
Despite those aforementioned security issues, the cloud is also a more secure platform. With physical products like laptops and hard drives storing files, they can easily suffer from damage or become lost. In comparison, files stored in the cloud won’t be affected even if your work device is compromised.