As market boundaries disappear, small businesses are competing across borders against established ‘big business’ companies – and winning.
The right technology can turn a small business from a niche player into a major threat. So are you making the most of the tools available?
- Grow Revenues with Lower Costs
You have to spend money to make money right? This seems to be a myth that many small businesses fall for. Growing your revenue doesn’t have to cost more to your business. By changing processes and the technology you use in your business you can dramatically affect your bottom line.
Richard Kew, Director of car finance broker Platinum Direct Finance, identifies technology as key to success and customer satisfaction; “You pass on the efficiencies you create within your business to customers,” explains Richard. With integration between their systems, Platinum Direct Finance can easily measure performance of their marketing spend – tracking leads from a Google search term to their website and all the way through the lifecycle to deal settlement. As a result, spend per lead from the website was reduced by 30% in just 4 months – and within 6 months, revenue was up by 44% thanks to a series of process efficiencies delivered through CRM technology.
- Power Up Productivity to Get More From Less
An underdog mentality can achieve a lot – if your team believe in what your business is trying to achieve, they will push themselves to reach the highest levels of productivity. Make sure they don’t waste valuable time – give them the tools to work together, and work from anywhere. Collaboration tools help your team share information easily, and stay up to date with any changes. It’s also important to ensure that all your systems and tools are fully accessible from mobile devices, so your employees aren’t chained to their desks. These days it’s possible to run your business from your phone and if you can achieve this you will have more time to innovate and grow.
- Take Advantage of Innovation
That leads us to innovation – the mobility trend also opens up new business models and opportunities for your company. Smaller businesses are more agile and flexible than larger companies – so you can easily test new ideas and try out new technologies. Building an app for your customers, to help them easily order products or stay in touch with you, may seem like a complicated project – but there are platforms that allow you to develop apps using “drag & drop” design. Treat technology as an enabler, and remember that you’ll be better at it than an oversized company drowning in committees!
- Easily Scale Operations as You Grow
It’s easier than ever to scale your business systems as you grow, thanks to cloud and mobile technology. Norm Black, CEO of Aussie travel deals site TripADeal, has seen a 70% growth rate year on year after switching to a cloud platform from salesforce.com that could be easily used and accessed on mobile devices. TripADeal can even handle 500% web traffic growth – and an unexpected spike was handled with ease; Norm made a quick call to his team in Byron Bay to “turn up the juice” and they were able to scale instantly, thanks to cloud technology.
With the technology available today, small businesses are no longer at the mercy of big business and can compete on a global scale. As Malcolm Gladwell says, in challenging our long-held beliefs about the story of David and Goliath: “Remember: giants are not as large as they seem.”
To read more tips, download a free eBook Small Business, Big Impact: How to Punch Above Your Weight.
About the Author
Melissa Apte works at salesforce.com as a Senior Marketing Manager, where she gets to combine her passions for marketing, small business and technology.