Modernizing your Small Business

Move with the Times and how to maintain successful Entrepreneurship

The excitement to start a business can easily diminish when confronted with the difficulties to get things set up. And once you have overcome those obstacles, it is not always smooth sailing. Keeping it up, is the continuous challenge that an entrepreneur is faced with once the business moves up gears to make a sale, cover the costs, and remain competitive. Generally, it all comes down to an available budget, the cash flow of the company, and how to maximize the profits and use them efficiently to remain competitive. 

When people think of modernizing, one of the first things that comes to mind is the use of technology. In this light, a small business is more agile to switch to a more efficient and modern system to automate the sales compared to larger enterprises that are usually stuck with legacy systems due to the complexity of the requirements. However, in both situations, it can be a relatively costly process.
There are several ways a small business can modernize and stay ahead of the curve. In order to assist in the modernization of your small business, we would like to give you a few pointers.

Explore the new Marketing Possibilities
Many small companies are not able to allocate a lot of money on marketing campaigns that provide the desired results. New technological advancements offer other channels and methods to create awareness of your products and services. Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on the internet and therefore this is an ideal area for marketing whether you have a website, collaborate on a website or have a Facebook page for your company. You can consider pay-per-click advertising, for example, to target a certain type of client. Or you can collaborate with influencers, bloggers, or vloggers who can promote your business. For a more interactive experience you can open a YouTube channel and offer a virtual experience, give demonstrations or share a promotion. 

Social media offers several channels to promote your company such as through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on. It depends on the crowd that you are targeting and what you are selling.

Interlink the Physical with the Digital
Although it is a tendency to fear what is new and unknown, we should explore and consider the possibilities it can offer instead. In this light, we should see how technology creates and facilitates communication. In this day and age, we can say that almost everyone has a smartphone and this is what business owners should use as a medium to reach their clients. Many people use Whatsapp or Facebook messenger to communicate and this can offer a quick response for businesses with the concerns of potential or existing clients. Clients can have a positive experience due to the attention received. Interaction through the digital platforms can influence buying behavior and help the client make better decisions based on what has been offered. Since people nowadays do not frequently visit a store, you have to make the switch and bring the store to them by using the possibilities that exist today. Having your business online and with a more direct communication creates an incentive for the customer who is easily distracted.

By integrating the physical experience with the digital you showcase what you have to offer and if combined with a campaign linked to a special offer you are more likely to have a sale.

Integrate Cloud-based Applications and Services
If you run a small business, it is quite possible you also have limited office space. Filing cabinets, stacks of invoices, and receipts all over your desk is something you definitely want to do without. You will look less professional and organized because of all the paperwork.

Cloud-based technology can help you organize all your financials and other paper documents. Depending on your budget you can opt for different types of cloud services with their level of security. Security is very important for these types of applications since the information of your company is vital for the continuity of your business and in some cases the privacy of your clients. It does not have to cost too much but it will help you to be more organized and to focus better on your business. Having your documents in the cloud also improves your accessibility and you are not tied to your desk. 

Certain cloud-based services even provide analytics which could help you and the way you do business. Processes can become more transparent and action can be taken promptly. Best of all is that no physical documents will be piled up and the information will be digitally available wherever you go.

Get into the Customer Experience and automate your Business
A sale is only a sale but an experience gives much more in return. A small business needs to build a name and create a client base which would prove to be loyal enough to maintain the business going. Tracking and logging critical information about your customers will help you predict their needs and desires. That way you’ll be ready to offer them a product or service at the right time. 

With artificial intelligence (AI) taking over many of the tasks, we should embrace the possibilities it creates for small businesses. Time is a scarce resource for all business owners. It affects the productivity and there is a wide variety of personal productivity tools available. These tools can help to arrange, prioritize and even help delegate tasks in order to have a more efficient use of your time. 

When combining the information you have on the customers and adequate time management your business can always be ahead of the curve and guarantee customer satisfaction. In our local economy if your business does not evolve it will eventually vanish. You cannot stand still but have to acquire the knowledge and keep modernizing the way of doing business.

Stay on Top of Things
It is important to keep up with recent developments to facilitate and make more business. Locally, there are several events organized which are recommended for any entrepreneur. The Chamber yearly organizes the Business Plaza events, offers presentations, workshops, and one-on-one sessions with practical and up-to-date information for our local entrepreneurs and starters. Other local events which would interest any small business would include A-tech conference, e-Aruba and TedX Aruba to name a few. It is always recommended to join mailing lists and make yourself and your company available. You never know where an opportunity is hiding and you do not want to lose momentum once you embark on the next big thing. The Chamber is always on the lookout for information and business possibilities for small entrepreneurs. Keep an eye on the Facebook page and on for news and information which could help your business to grow.