Tag Archives: small business

Embracing Technology

3 Reasons Why You Should Embrace Technology.

1.  It’s not going away!

Were you one of the thousands that thought Facebook was just a fad?  Well, it is most obviously not.   Facebook is getting stronger and stronger each day and recently Facebook had more visitors than GOOGLE.

We are in the middle of what many experts call “Web 2.0” and moving swiftly towards what Michael Tasner, of TAZ Solutions calls “Web 3.0”.  What does that mean for small business?

Well, to put it mildly.  If you are not on the Technology Train you better hurry or you and your business will get left behind.

2.  There are more Smart Phone Users than Internet Users.

I know that some of you may wonder what a Smart Phone is.  A Smart Phone is a phone that can send and receive email and visit the internet.   The fact of the matter is that there are more Smart Phone users than people who have internet at their homes.  Their is a  swift movement towards Mobile Marketing and for the business person who does not even have a website the potential for disaster is huge.  Here is a great example:  I have a friend who is building a house and before she went and bought anything  she would do research on the products.  Unfortunately a lot of businesses here in Camrose are not on the internet so she found herself in a unique position.  She wanted to support the local community but could not.  She did not have the time to drive from store to store to see if they had what she wanted.  She did, however, take the time to do the research on her own and then purchase her products from the comfort of her own home.

Experts are predicting that in the next 18-24 months we will also be able to purchase from our phone. That is, of course,  if they can access your website (and for some people, that is if you have a website).   If you have a website, ensure that have the technology so that when phone users visit your site, they can see your site in its entirety.  As well, make sure you purchase your domain name with the ending of ‘mobi’ (short for mobile).

3.  Your Profits Depend on It!

Technology is not just about making sure you have a website.  Rather it is about embracing all the possible benefits:  Facebook Advertising, Facebook Fan Pages (create a ‘Raging Fan’), Twitter, and the benefit of capturing your customers email.

Specifically I will address email technology here.  And, again, I am going to use an example.  My shoe size is an 11.  And, for those of you who do not know, this is not a common shoe size.  The problem is that the shoe store that I love to shop in, only gets a few of those sizes in.  AND by the time I realize I need a new pair of shoes / boots it is usually too late in the season for me as the store is sold out.

One way this store could increase their profits is if  they could ask for my email and my cell phone number.   Previous to attending their annual buying trip they could send me an email, to let me know that they were going to buy some shoes and ‘how many pairs’ would I like?  Here is  a huge opportunity to PRE-SELL shoes. Unfortunately, they do not have anything like this in place. And, because I am too late to buy shoes here I have to buy my shoes outside of town.

The technology needed to ensure this type of customer service is simple:  CSM Service (Customer Service Management Service).  I use a program called AWEBER.  It’s great.

My challenge to you as a business owner is to embrace technology.  Use it to your advantage.  You will be amazed at how many ways technology can add more profit to your business.

It’s In The Details

One of The Biggest Mistakes that Small Businesses Make.

Details. Most owners would agree that it is the ‘small’ things or the details that

make the biggest difference.  However, when it comes to  their own business often details are missed.

For example: It’s Christmas Time and the stores are all decked out with Christmas decorations.  But notice how many businesses

have actually taken the time to pay attention to those small details.  Are your stocking ‘hung with care’?  Or are they randomly thrown up because it’s Christmas and it is busy.

If you have Christmas Tree are the lights all working, are the branches of the tree spread out, what about the garland?  The decorations themselves?

If you have a Nativity Scene, are all the props displayed with pride, or does Mary or Joseph have a broken hand?

Have you ever had this thought,  who notices?

Well, I have a secret to tell you… a lot of people notice the small details?  Details as simple as:  what does your front entrance look like, did you shovel the walk?  Is there garbage in front?  If you have a public washroom, what details are you and your staff missing because you see it everyday?  Is the holder for the Toilet Paper hanging loose or no longer there and all that is left is the hole in wall from the screws?  These are details that people notice.

Each detail adds or distracts to the ‘feeling’ that people get when they arrive in your door.  What do you want them to feel?  What small things do you think you could change or small additions you could make?

Marketing your business is not just about what you put in your advertisement.  Marketing is NOT an eventMarketing is a process and part of that process is paying attention to ALL of the details.

My challenge to you is to look at your business with a new set of eyes?  What do you see?

Facebook 8.3 million Users per Month

Talk to anyone over the age of 45 and they think that Facebook is a waste of time.

Talk to anyone who really understand the power of Facebook and they smile!

Facebook has 8.3 million users per        month.

And, what is great about that from a marketing and advertising point of view as that you have a lot of control over who you are advertising to.

Things like, demographics:  age, sex, and where they live.  Or, the time of day you want to advertise.  Even better, the ability to set a daily budget.

Facebook is amazing.  The most interesting statistic that I learned was that the fastest growing user was the 50 year old female.

So, what does that mean for small business.  A Facebook Fan Page can easily be created, offering incentives for your local shoppers to “like” you.  Think of word of mouth advertising on steroids.  The possibilities are endless.

However, what most advertisers don’t know is that there is a right and a wrong way to advertise on Facebook.  Facebook is a community and the people who use facebook use it to connect with family and  friends.  The business community uses it for much different purposes.  The key is to advertise or promote your business in a matter that is about community building, education, and connecting.  Not about ‘hey I have this great widget and you need to buy it’.

The question you need to answer is:  What business, service or product do you have and how does it help people?  What solution does it provide?  Why will our lives be better if we ‘use’ it or ‘buy it’.  Once you can communicate that to the audience on Facebook then you have a incredible opportunity to share your passion with your community.

Remember, that Marketing is about continuously building a relationship with existing customers or clients and potential ones.  Marketing is NOT an event. It takes time and effort.  One myth is that one has to spend a lot of money on promoting their business. This is not true and Facebook is great example of this.