5 ways to embrace technology and change your business

technology

Implementing new technology in a workplace can be highly beneficial, and is often essential- however it can also engender resistance from your team.

Often the source of resistance is not the new technology or the new process: resistance stems from the fear of the unknown, of learning something new, of uncertainty in how the technology will work, or even of new ways of working.

Technology is expanding at an incredibly fast rate and the speed of growth is astonishing. If your business isn’t keeping up, it may get left behind.

Being unable to move with the times could cause the untimely death of your business. Here are some clever tech additions you can make to your business that your employees will love.

Providing mobile options

Many clients will now expect your business to at least have a mobile responsive website and ideally an app; that way they can access your business services from anywhere.

Providing them with the ability to book online whether that be for  a table at a restaurant, an appointment at a hair salon or getting a quote for a job – enables instant access to a service which will increase customer satisfaction and, in turn, revenue.

With recent figures showing that over half of all searches are now performed on mobile devices, the upwards trend of mobile-friendly websites shows no sign of slowing down.

The logical next step in that process is to allow your customers to access services they want directly.

This level of direct automated contact with your business may make some of your team members nervous regarding  their role in these new processes, but reassure them by explaining how much easier it will make their jobs, and in turn, how busy you will now be with increased bookings! You’ll need them more than ever.

Ecommerce

Similarly to implementing an online booking system, opening your business up to an ecommerce shopping solution for your customers will allow them to browse online and buy from the comfort of their homes, work commutes or  anywhere else the fancy takes them, rather than losing them to a competitor retailer or business that does provide that service.

You can purchase many ‘out of the box’ solutions that have features allowing you to integrate an ecommerce site with your current business; Shopify, Actinic and Advansys are all popular options.

Each has its own pros and cons so take the time to weigh up which will work the best for your business.  Consider what you really need and what would be ‘nice to haves’ and see which system offers the best functionality for your circumstances.

Making sure your staff are fully versed in how the software works will facilitate a smoother transition period, and having your staff fully trained and able to step in and fix issues or get stock online quickly will be essential.

This level of training will make your staff confident and invaluable to the team.

Inventory software

Having a form of inventory software will help you to keep a tighter handle on your stock levels and; in turn, that will save you money, enabling you to make sure that you aren’t over-ordering on expensive stock. It will also help you track trends in sales so that you can anticipate times of high activity and plan ahead, placing you one step ahead of the pack.

Choosing dedicated members of your team to administrate and maintain this system will be key; that way you can keep a few dedicated people fully trained and minimise the avenue for human error.

Contactless payments

Most card machines allow contactless payments now, but some smaller independent retailers haven’t caught up with the trend.

Swapping card machines for new contactless versions will keep customers happy, leaving them marvelling at what a smooth experience it all was.

Not only will this small swap keep customers happy, but studies have shown that it increases spending too, especially for pubs, bars and restaurants, where the ability to buy food or a round of drinks quickly means that  fewer people leave your establishment ‘to go to the cash machine’ and never come back.

Geo-locations or tagging

This is an easy and cheap one to implement, in a small way. Use Snapchat to add Geo-filters to your location and allow customers to show loyalty; you can reward them for posting selfies in your shops with small discounts or freebies.

All press is good press after all! This form of geo-filtering can boost your social media presence too, helping spread the word about your business.

The simplest way to manage this is to appoint a social media co-ordinator who is trained in the ways of each media and understands the importance of the channel.

Empower them to manage and maintain your business presence online and you will boost your brand awareness in no time.

Taking the plunge and implementing any type of new process or technology within your business is a big step, however large or small the financial outlay.

Sometimes a business needs a little help with finding the funds to make that essential purchase that will push your business, and profits, to the next level. Applying for a small business loan could be the way to get around that speed bump.

Rafferty Gifford, Digital Marketing Professional at Liberis