With each passing year, it seems to get easier to start and run a business. Thanks to the march of technological progress, there are ever more ways to get a commercial venture off the ground, and you don’t even need to have much money to begin. So that’s all good news, right?
Well, if you want to launch, manage and benefit from a business, it is important to recognise that progress is a double-edged sword. So while we could argue that it’s easier for you to start a business, it’s also easier for everyone else. The vital thing to keep in mind is that, while there’s plenty to be achieved in business, and many paths to achieving success, you need to be alive to both edges of the sword.
It’s easier to engage with customers, but it’s easier for them to complain, too…
It would be entirely possible to launch a business and spend absolutely nothing on advertising, publicising it solely via social media and various other free platforms. It wouldn’t be advisable – other businesses have social media and advertising budgets – but it could work. In short, it’s never been easier to get your name and your products in front of the general public.
However, it is also easier for the general public to deliver an unflattering response to your efforts – and because this is the internet, your customers will see that response. With reliable review tracking software it is possible to get to your worst reviews, see what you’re doing wrong, and reach out to critics in the hope of turning them back into fans. This is an essential part of building a strong business.
Customer data has never been easier to store – or steal…
We live in a data age – there are huge swathes of information available that help businesses target their advertising, decide on which products to launch and much more. Any business owner will naturally be enthralled at the way technology lends itself to creating and reaching new leads.
With that said, there is something to be said for file cabinets and lock boxes as a means of information storage. It seems like a regular occurence to see media stories about one data breach or another, and even some of the world’s most recognized and respected companies have been caught out. It’s essential, if you are storing information, that you have the very best cybersecurity software for the job; the risks of your customers seeing their data exposed are extreme, and go beyond them not wanting to use your business again.
There are more tricks and toys to use, but more learning to do…
The more you want to use tech to build your business, the more you’ll need to remember that different people pick up technological information at different paces. If you’re a solopreneur and something of an autodidact, you’ll find yourself at home with new tech more or less instantly. If, however, you have employees, it’s important to remember that they may not be as comfortable with the tech you use.
You need to ensure that any tech you call upon is user-friendly, and easy for any layperson to pick up. You will also need to set aside time for training whenever you bring a technological change into your business; it may eat into the time you have for usual business tasks, but the sooner everyone is on the same page, the better.