From ever-advancing technology to changing customer expectations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to keep up with the times, but it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date. Make things a little easier on yourself and check out these tips for bringing all aspects of your business into the 21st century.
Modern customers expect more than a friendly face and quick service (though both are still highly important). With more and more businesses using tech to enhance customer service, your customers are probably expecting the same from you. A few simple changes can help put your customer service into high gear.
Hand-written invoices and waiting days for a mailed copy just won’t cut it anymore. Customers expect instant and accurate invoices that don’t require them to decipher any chicken-scratch. Integrated billing and invoicing software will make it easy to get your customers what they need and often make record keeping much simpler.
If you do business on the road, you’ll want to make sure the program has mobile-friendly capabilities. You might not be able to print a hard-copy while on site, but you’ll at least be able to email one, which is what most customers want anyway. Certain industries even have specially designed programs that solve common issues that come up.
The days of everyone carrying a checkbook with them have long passed. Even cash is considered passé for younger generations. Cold hard plastic is the preferred payment method for most. For businesses with a brick and mortar location, it’s easy to be set up to take all forms of payment. If your business is on the move, you’ll need to invest in some tech that makes taking cards easy. Smartphone attachments and mobile card readers are pretty commonplace these days. Make sure your business has them set up.
Online Appointment Booking/Ordering
Modern customers are looking for convenience in all aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to booking appointments and placing orders. Picking up the phone and calling a business just doesn’t always fit into your customers’ lifestyle. You can blame it on millennials and their smartphones, but it doesn’t change the fact that more and more customers want to do everything online. There are plenty of programs designed for adding online appointment scheduling. Most will connect to a calendar you’re already using.
With online shopping quickly becoming the main way people buy, setting up an ecommerce shop is easier than ever. There are even programs that make shipping a breeze. Do a little research and find the one that works best for your product.
One of the biggest parts of running a business is making sure you have customers to help. Ditching some of your old marketing techniques and implementing new ones could be just what your business needs to compete in the modern market.
Mailers, newspaper ads, and phone books listings often find themselves in the recycling bin along with all the money you put into them. Rather than spending on expensive print advertising that is sure to be tossed, switch to email marketing. It’s cost effective and has a higher chance of leading to customer interaction. After all, picking up a flyer won’t send them straight to your website like an email will.
Speaking of websites, you might want to spend some time optimizing yours for the most views possible. SEO (search engine optimization) may be way out of your wheel-house, but the basics shouldn’t be too hard to implement. You’ll want to emphasize keywords, create a network of internal links, and update content. You can learn a lot with some Googling.
When a customer Googles your business, you want more to come up than just your website. Social media accounts and digital advertising can help boost your business’ web presence and help customers get a better idea of what you do. Create professional social media accounts and look into online advertising like Adwords to boost your business to the top of your customers’ search. You’ll also want to monitor your online reviews and encourage your customers to leave positive ones.
A big part of your business’ success is having quality equipment that gets the job done efficiently. Working with outdated equipment can keep your business from reaching its full potential. To make sure your business is keeping up with the times, look into upgrading your equipment. With equipment financing, it will be easy to afford the latest equipment. Check out a few of the benefits of financing equipment:
Take More Jobs
New equipment is a surefire way to increase productivity and can even enable you to diversify your business. Whether you upgrade the old or add additional pieces, growing your business with equipment is always a good idea. Once you get your financed equipment, you’ll be able to take bigger jobs and bring in more revenue.
Acquiring equipment not only increases your businesses productivity and revenue, but it also enables you to take advantage of some sweet tax savings. IRS Section 179 allows you to deduct 100% of the purchase price of qualifying financed equipment up to $500,000. Financing equipment for $25,000 could result in over $8,000 back in your pocket with Section 179.
Acquiring equipment through financing breaks down the cost into affordable monthly payments making it easier to get exactly what you need. With flexible financing plans, there’s bound to be a way to make getting equipment work for your budget and business model. Take a look at how low your monthly payment could be using this calculator.
Whether you implement all these tips or just consider a few, you’re business will be better equipped to meet modern customers’ expectations.