A recent survey by leading B2B research firm Clutch showed that potentially thousands of small businesses are not correctly utilizing new technologies and digital marketing, which can negatively impact their success, limit growth and make it easier for their competitors to steal potential customers away. Beyond the two main reasons that, according to the report, business owners cite for not using new technology – the associated expense with conversion and the inexperience they have with the available tools and strategies – there are others, including the incomplete or inaccurate understanding of new technologies, lack of proper training and employee education, and overly-cautious and close-minded attitudes. Any of these can severely inhibit the growth, progress and success of your business.
The main reason businesses fail to take advantage of new technologies is attitude. Change can be difficult, especially if it comes after years of doing something a certain way - employees may be hesitant to make changes that upset their daily routines and managers and team leaders may be pretty well set in their ways (the “we’ve always done it this way, and it works” mindset). But these attitudes can be very detrimental to creating a more progressive workplace.
Thankfully, digital technology is becoming more user-friendly, accessible and less expensive to the point where even brand-new businesses can afford to explore their options. Many platforms, like Hubspot, which recently introduced a free CRM tool, have free or low-cost options designed to help your business grow. When used properly, a business owner can expect a 400 to 900 percent return on their investment in digital technology within just a few months. With a potential ROI that huge, it is certainly worth exploring your options.
As a business owner, you will also want to look into digital tools and programs that can help free up some of your time so you can get back to the business of running your business. It might require you to relinquish some control, but if it gives you the opportunity to do more of what you opened your business to do, then it’s worth exploring. Why work too many hours or become consumed with the day to day minutiae of maintaining your business and not seeing any growth? You may have to hire a professional business consultant to help set the tools and program sup for you, but it will be money well spent as you will get your freedom back to run your business the way you want it run.
The key to helping your business embrace new technologies and grow into the thriving entity you imagined it as being lies in education and training. It will do no good to implement a great new digital program if no one understands it or knows how to use it. Chances are much of the new technology will be completely new to you and/or your employees, and often part of the implementation process includes free training. Make sure you and your employees take advantage of this training so you can get the most out of your investment.
Change can be difficult, even in the best of circumstances. However, as all of your customers are likely online, going digital is one change you must make. Because of websites like Google and Facebook, businesses have more tools and options than ever before to embrace new technologies and reach their exact customers, target and track them and see almost immediate ROI. Don’t be afraid of new technologies – embrace them, learn them and teach your employees about them. Embracing the change today can ensure your business will enjoy greater flexibility and success in today’s increasingly competitive business landscape.