How to Grow Your Small Business by Investing in Tech
Listen to Audio Many small business owners are hesitant to put money into technology. After all, some improvements are expensive, and you want every dollar you spend to be fruitful. However, there are ways tech can help your company to grow, providing a terrific return on your investment. Protect Your Assets What do you consider your most valuable asset to be? Your staff? Your equipment? Your customers? Think about how important your data is. Could you function without it, and if so, for how long? According to Inc., not only would a data breach bring your work to a screeching halt, it could mean closing your doors. That’s what happens to 60 percent of small businesses who fall victim to a cyberattack. You might consider yourself immune, thanks to your small size, but Inc. goes on to report 70 percent of cybercriminals aim their weapons directly at small businesses. Add to that this daunting statistic: Some research indicates it could take 191 days just to identify a data breach. You might have already been hacked but haven’t felt the damage yet. It’s crucial for small business owners to enact safeguards against cybercrime. If you toyed with the idea of adding a subscription like Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to your security program, time is of the essence. Aside from providing you with a suite of go-to software (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.), it’s an opportunity to create your own data protection rules. For some businesses, however, implementing an Office 365 DLP may not be enough, in which case you will want to add more comprehensive data loss protection. Expand with E-Commerce It’s evident that e-commerce is here to stay, and if you haven’t already cut a piece of the pie for yourself, it’s time. For instance, The Next Scoop notes 67 percent of millenials choose the convenience of online shopping over a brick and mortar experience. If you’re missing out, there are e-commerce website builders you can use to dive in. Is There an App for That? Already have a viable website? Consider the benefits of adding a mobile app shoppers can add to their devices. It’s a smart way to send them directly to your store, and a well-crafted app can tailor their shopping experience to their needs and tastes. For instance, does your business rely on appointments for income? You can incorporate features to allow your customers to schedule their time slots, and send reminders when they’re due. You don’t need to be a computer whiz to make it happen, since you can hire a freelance app developer to create one to your specifications. Develop your vision for your app, and start researching potential freelancers. One idea is to ask around for recommendations through social media sites, professional connections, and research job boards for candidates. Soon you’ll find the right pro to bring your ideas to life. Keep Customers Faithful Does your small business offer a loyalty rewards program? Consider incorporating one into your website and app. These programs provide ample data that can improve your product selection and marketing, as well as the engagement of your customers. As HubSpot explains, data analytics can inform your choices tremendously, once you know how to put it to work. By exploring browser and buyer demographics – who makes purchases the first time, and who comes back for more – you can shape your decisions to make sure you don’t lose your routine customers, encourage them to purchase additional items, and on top of all that, potentially grab the same ones who used to browse and leave. Technology can be invaluable to today’s small business owners. Protect your data, engage in e-commerce, add an app, and keep your customers faithful. Not only will your investments be worthwhile, they’ll help your business to grow.
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