In this day and age, small businesses are facing a serious question: keep doing business as usual or try to adopt and incorporate a more relevant way of doing things.
Keeping the status quo may be one of the reasons the business has remained so successful, but it may also be one of the reasons it starts to falter in the future. There is a certain loyalty to small, local businesses, but speed, convenience, and consistence overrules loyalty after a while.
With a few simple changes, it’s possible to keep the business running as usual (on the outside), while streamlining the way it operates from the inside. Ultimately, this provides the customers with the speed, convenience, and consistency they require to remain loyal.
The first change a business can make is to ensure a fast, easy way to accept credit cards as tender. A lot of small business still don’t accept credit cards or debit cards because they simply don’t have the means. Or, they accept these forms of payment, but rely on outdated, and time consuming methods, such as phone lines.
The solution to this is to utilize mobile devices to scan and authorize payments. More and more businesses are using this method and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing.
The second improvement that can be made is with accounting and bookkeeping. Using an accounting program that is not based in the cloud or using a program that the company has used for a decade may have worked in the past. However, as the business grows and taxes, payroll, and the bottom line increases, the business is going to be better off using a program that is constantly updated, constantly backed up, and that can be accessed from anywhere.
You move around a lot — and being able to access these important aspects of your business whenever you want and wherever you go becomes an important tool for managing your business on the go. The third and most important aspect of managing your business is providing your employees and customers with ways to contribute and feel valued.
A great way to do this is to keep an open line of communication with them. Implementing ways to communicate their ideas, thoughts, and feelings about their job and experience is becoming an important variable in employee and customer satisfaction.
In office settings, it can be very helpful to implement an instant messaging program between employees. This provides a way for everyone to communicate easily. In retail settings, employee text messaging groups can be utilized or social media groups can be used to let them feel a part of the team. Feeling a part of the team is crucial and feeling valued is even more important.
Social media can be huge when it’s used to interact with customers. Asking a customer to share their experience on Google or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. will always result in more and more people becoming aware of the services and experiences your business can provide.
These three changes can improve the way your business operates on a day to day basis, without having too much overhead costs, and without having to overhaul major aspects of the business. They can improve employee and customer satisfaction, as well as make them all feel included. In the end, the general sense from the customers will be one of “Whatever they changed, I like it, and it works.”