One of the major benefits of running a business in the internet age is that being successful is much easier. That may sound like a bold statement to make, but the truth is when it comes to business success, the internet has levelled the playing field, so to speak. It is now much easier for smaller companies to compete with larger and more experienced corporations. Regardless of the size of their budget. Companies of all shapes and sizes can now reach a record number of potential customers. And all thanks to the power of the internet. That being said, not all businesses know how to use the internet to increase success. Or even, the benefits of taking the time to do so.
With that in mind, below we have shared some of the undeniable benefits of the internet for businesses. Along with ways that brands should be utilizing this powerful resource.
Sharing information is quicker and easier
20 years ago, sharing information about a product or service that your business was launching was far from easy. It would be expensive, time-consuming, and wholly ineffective. Mainly because of how limited your audience was. However, thanks to the rise of the internet, sharing information is now simpler and easier than ever before. From the use of email campaigns using software like Mailchimp to the use of social media, information sharing couldn?t be easier. Because most of these resources are free to use, sharing information has also become much more affordable. Meaning that businesses of all shapes and sizes are able to do so freely. Effectively upping their chances of their success.
Marketing doesn?t have to cost you the earth
Traditional marketing solutions can be incredibly expensive. Especially those that involve good old fashioned paper marketing. However, thanks to the internet, online marketing has become a new and more cost-effective option. The internet is not only a resource for marketing but also has plenty of information and advice about how it works. For instance, you can discover online marketing here, and read up on the ins and outs of each option. The fact is there are various ways that businesses can advertise online, some of which are effective, and some that aren?t. So before choosing a marketing option, it?s always best to do your research. The last thing you want is to put a whole lot of time and effort into something, only for it to fail spectacularly.
Social media makes networking much easier
It?s no secret that for businesses of all shapes and sizes, networking is crucial. The business industry is a big place, and so, to get your brand name out there, you need to make time to network with other industry professionals. Traditionally, networking was something that was done face to face at networking events. Many industry professionals still network in this way. And while that?s their prerogative, it?s not always practical to leave your office to attend a networking event. However, thanks to the internet – or social media to be exact – you no longer have to. Many companies now choose to network online with the help of social media. The best social media site for online networking is Twitter, as there are various chats held each day. These are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and grow your business?s reach. There are various Twitter chats to take part in, but some of the best ones are #smallbizchat, #SEOchat, and #PMchat.
Regardless of their size, all businesses want to find ways to reduce their spending. As the more money they can save on everyday costs, the more they have to invest in other areas of running their company. The internet has made saving money as a business owner much easier, as we mentioned above. As well as making marketing cheaper and more cost-effective, the internet has also reduced other business costs. Take mail, for instance. Businesses used to have to pay to print documents out and then pay to send them. However, now important documents can be sent for free via email, saving companies money on postage. Then there?s the fact that the internet can save businesses money by cutting phone bills and travel costs. This is thanks to wi-fi calls and video chatting. Another example is free software – the internet offers a lot of free software that can be useful for businesses. As a resource, the internet is fantastic for helping to reduce costs.
Offering good customer service is easier
Last but not least, thanks to the internet it?s much easier to offer higher levels of customer service. You see, social media sites have meant that it?s easier than ever before for customers to contact companies with queries. It has also made it much easier for brands to reply to these. The invention of online web chats, such as Google Hangouts, have made it easier again for companies to be contacted. Live chats are popular because they?re quick and easy in comparison to having to call a customer service number. There?s no waiting around on hold or expensive bills to worry about. It?s just a case of typing in a message and waiting for a response. Studies have shown that companies that offer live chats on their websites tend to rank better in terms of customer service quality. So a web chat is something that?s most definitely worth adding to your website.
The internet age has had a big impact on the business industry and has changed it in many ways. Today, a business without a website is rare. Whereas, 20 years ago very few companies would have websites. Those that did, would have limited traffic because few people used the internet or even had a computer in their homes. However, today that?s no longer the case. The internet is a resource that?s used day in, day out by the majority of society, including many successful businesses. Hence why it has become such a useful tool for business owners to use to make running their company easier.
When it comes to marketing business, making sure the image is in direct unity with what the company stands for is the main attraction to potential clients and customers. Having the two complement each other is what will make your marketing or advertising campaign work effectively. When starting out with a business, you may not have the advantage of a marketing team. So being able to make a business image align with the ethos of the company is a challenge from the off because of limited resources.
There are steps you can take to sync up the business image with the company ethos. Here are some ideas and approaches to address:
Does it need to be spelled out any simpler? You need to have total awareness of your brand, to begin with. Do you know your product well? Do you understand the fundamentals of what it is and who it is best catered for? The best way to see where you fit into alongside your peers is to do research into trends, styles, and moods of products. Looking at what others are doing does two things:
- It helps you identify a tone for the product that is individual enough.
- It prevents copyright issues, such as plagiarism.
A way to identify the tone of your product is to do some old-fashioned brainstorming. Create some buzz words linked to what you are trying to communicate with the brand image. For example, is your business bold and brash? Or is it light and subtle? Or is it loud and in-your-face? Nailing down the right words will streamline the brand identity.
Create Workplace Unity
When it comes to brands and companies, creating the brand from the inside out is a method to gaining an identity. When it comes to your business, are you trying to promote a family-run and simple style of business? Or are you developing a dynamic, cutting edge philosophy? When it comes to recruiting employees, you need to hire people that naturally promote the brand.
Working to promote a brand includes the finer details. Everyone likes a mug or an umbrella with their business logo on it. It gives the brand a feeling of tangibility, especially in small businesses. So, making the office a brand awareness factory can help to ingrain this in your employees. Find out more by searching online to see what suits the business.
Address The Issue Of The Logo
When it comes to what your company is, can you answer the question in a simple word? Mainly when it comes to your logo, you need to be communicating everything about your brand in a simple image. A simple logo allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be memorable. When it comes to making an effective logo, it should be significant and appropriate. And most importantly, a logo should stand the test of time. There are many ways to get to the logo that thinks you want. But remember, many multinationals change their branding. So, if you are unhappy with the logo in the future, you can invest time to make the right changes.
If you haven?t made the jump to computerising your business 100%, there are many reasons to do so. The message of being environmentally conscious is everywhere. It should be encouraging you to reduce your paper amounts. Or not even use them at all! Completely making your business foolproof in the IT stakes is something you need to think about. That doesn?t just mean getting a good internet connection. When other businesses speak of Search Engine Optimization, CRM?s and blogs, are you thinking that these are things you need to get round to? Or have you already got them up and running? Here are some things to ponder.
A Business Blog
A great business blog will do you wonders, not just in the marketing but also gives you the personalisation most bigger companies won?t have. If you haven?t started documenting your business online, you need to start doing it before the next popular mode of marketing comes along! To widen your catchment area, you can guest post on other blogs. You can use sites like GuestPostTracker.com to see what sites are the best fit for your business.
Upgrading your storage hardware systems to a cloud-based one is a tool many companies use to utilise more memory space. Other benefits include reducing your carbon footprint as well as increased network security. Also, the ability to recover documents easier than when your hardware breaks down will save a few people?s skins!
Customer Relationship Management software is an effective way to keep the business ticking away in the background. The software is an organisational tool, admin system and lead generator all in one. Having one of these installed will do wonders for the firm?s time management skills. If you have a limited workforce, this enables them to stretch their capabilities that little bit further.
A must for any company. Getting this will save many issues relating to hackers and data leaks as well as suspect ?packages? from outside emails. If you don?t have one in place, I strongly urge you to do so now.
A Statistics Tool
Do you know how much traffic your business website generates? If not, then getting a tool to feedback the numbers. Systems like Google Analytics are easy to use and break down the numbers into easy to view results, like graphs. You can find out handy information like in what country your business is viewed the most. This can help you to tailor your marketing and so you can work smarter instead of harder.
The best accounting systems and software will be invaluable. Gone are the days of paper filing. With software like ClearBooks offering invoicing, banking, tax management and many other tools under one handy banner, it has never been easier to check if your company is in rude financial health.
Tools like these are a step in the right direction to making sure the company you are running can operate smoothly. Putting the right IT structure in place can make for an efficient business.
Trying to get the best out of your employees is really important, and helps you to make the business better. Now, one of the best ways of doing this is to make your employees feel more like an important part of the team. These are some ideas that will help you to achieve that starting today.
Give Them Gifts
Making your staff feel good and feel valued is actually massively important. You have got to understand that morale is crucial to a business. And people are very fragile in terms of confidence. That?s why it?s really important to make them feel as great as possible. A great way to do this is to present them with gifts like company lapel pins. You can find out more about that sort of thing by going on the internet and checking out where to find them. Of course, you could choose anything as a gift, just make sure you give your employees something. It?s often the gesture that matters the most because you?re showing them that you value
Encourage Them to Take Charge
The best thing you can do as a modern boss is not to smother or micromanage your staff.You should treat them as though they are important to the business. And, the way to achieve that is to make sure you encourage them to take charge. If they can spearhead areas of the company, they will feel much more valued. You can achieve this by encouraging employee collaboration and innovation. Training your staff properly, in the beginning, is the best way of making sure they are equipped to do this will also help a lot. If you can encourage your players to take charge, this will help them to show more interest in the company, and they will enjoy their roles more. It also provides your staff with freedom and opportunity to explore how they can change the business for the better.
Get to Know Them
One thing that always goes a long way is a personal touch. Sure, we know giving gifts helps a lot, but it?s also useful to try to get to know your staff. Take the time to get to know everyone who works for you, on a first name basis. Get to know about their lives and their families as well, so you have a more personal bond. Employees will like this because it shows that you care about them and value them as people. Think about how well you actually know your staff to begin with. Can you name everyone? Do you know when their birthdays are? Who?s married and who isn?t? These are all important questions you need to ask yourself as the boss. Find out what is going on in their lives, and what you can do to help them. Thomas Watson Jr., of IBM, once said ?I think my most important job? is working with anybody who has a problem?. By addressing your employees? problems, you can help them to work through the issues, and improve their personal lives as a result.
As a business owner, it?s really crucial that you make your staff feel like they matter. Making them into an important part of the team is key. It?s important for helping the business develop, and for making sure they perform as well as possible for you. You can do this in quite a few ways, and it?s something you?ve got to action as soon as you can.
People often see restaurants as one of the few businesses that the Internet hasn?t damaged much. In fact, the Internet can be a massive boon to restaurants. With the right marketing techniques, your business could see dramatic increases in patrons. Much of this has to do with working on your Internet presence.
Getting friendly with mobile
So much Internet use now takes place on mobile phones. This isn?t just constrained to on-the-go use. You also need to consider the fact that a lot of people at home find it easier to get out their phones than to go over to their PC. When people are out and about, that?s when they often make the decision to go to a restaurant. So you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. The contact info on your website should be easily located. Your menu should be easy to read on a smaller screen. If people can?t get all the info they need on the mobile version of your website? Then you could find your restaurant being skipped in favor of one that does have a great mobile website.
Search engine optimization
Of course, in order for people to find you in the first place, you need search engine visibility. It doesn?t matter how bright and crazy the sign outside your restaurant is. Most of the people who find out about your restaurant will do so through an Internet search. So you need to be investing in SEO. You probably already know what SEO is, but may not have thought it applied much to a restaurant business. At the end of the day, the majority of people still turn to Google if they need to find anything, online or offline. Look further into a digital marketing restaurant strategy to get the exposure you need.
Personality and social media
Another thing you may not have considered when it comes to your restaurant. It is absolutely essential that you get yourself a Twitter account. As this infographic shows, an alarming amount of restaurants don?t have Twitter accounts. This will strike a lot of people as strange. After all, doesn?t every business have a Twitter account these days? Well, a lot of restaurant owners may not think it can do much for them. Maybe they believe that the food can speak for itself. And that anything the food can?t say for itself can be spread via word-of-mouth. But your business can still have a personality to show on Twitter. Getting fans to follow social media accounts is a great way to expand the business.
Email marketing is still a thing
You didn?t think that email marketing had gone away, did you? This isn?t just a misconception that restaurant owners have, to be fair. Business owners of most pursuits often forget that email marketing is still extremely effective. The fact is that people still use their email on a regular basis, and will open emails from companies they trust. Look into email marketing for your restaurant, and make sure to send your subscribers good content and deals!
Many business owners are unaware of how important training can be. If you train your employees properly, you will see so many benefits. To find out more, have a read of the article below:
One thing I find good about training is that it can encourage teamwork. If you train your staff as a team, they have to work together. There are loads of ideas you can use to get people working together as a unit. Team unity is essential in any line of work. We?ve all heard the saying two heads are better than one. Well, if all the heads in your business are working together, you will see a huge improvement in teamwork. Consequently, you can improve the atmosphere of an office. Everyone knows that good team unity creates a happy and more relaxed atmosphere.
Improves Office Safety
When most people think about training, then tend to think about technical things. Training them to get better at their job is important, but, it?s not the only thing you need to do. As an employer, it?s your responsibility to provide health and safety training for your staff. This can help improve safety within the office. As a result, you minimize the risks of problems occurring. When everyone knows how to go about their work safely, accidents are less likely to be an issue. What does this mean? Well, it has a knock on effect regarding productivity. Fewer office incidents mean less time wasted dealing with them. So, everyone can focus on their work, and be more productive in the process.
Improves Work Quality & Output
Training your employees to be better at their job will have massive results. It leads to a higher quality of work and increased productivity. Everyone can benefit from additional training. Even people that have worked for years can enjoy greater success with the right training. You can teach people new things that help them get better at their jobs. It?s a great idea if you find your business is faltering. Often, stagnant businesses are caused by employees that aren?t living up to their potential. They have the talent to succeed; they just need pointing in the right direction. Training your staff properly can do just this and unlock employee potential.
It can be said that training your employees helps prevent mistakes. By this, I?m talking about training any new staff you hire. When a new person joins a company, they might be unaware of how things go. You could use software they aren?t familiar with. In which case, there?s a chance some mistakes can occur as they get used to everything. But, with proper training, you can stop this from happening. Train new employees before they start, and they?ll begin their career on the right foot. They?ll make fewer mistakes and won?t slow your business down.
As you can see, proper training brings a lot of good to your business. You will see all around improvements when you train your staff. Better employees lead to a much better business.