Increasing your bottom line – is it time for a Digital Makeover?
How long has it been since you had a digital makeover? Is your business match fit for the 21st Century? Research by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) suggests that even minimal expenditure of less than £3k on upgrading hardware can see your turnover increase by 35% within the year and those spending the same amount on software, can see increases of up to 40%.
Investing in technology doesn’t need to break the bank, but can have positive effects on how companies communicate with existing customers and also in targeting new customers.
So what positive steps should you take to optimise your use of and investment in technology? Where should you start?
The obvious place to start is your window to the world – your website. A recent report by the BBC found that approximately 20% of UK businesses don’t even have a website, let alone an engaging one. In this technological age, customers expect you to at least have a website and with the increase in gadgets, they expect to be able to view it on any device. If your website has not kept up with technological advancement, it may not be compatible with the latest web browsers or easily viewed on mobile devices. With Adobe Flash no longer being supported by Google Android and Apple devices unable to view websites built using Flash, keeping abreast of technologies has never been more important to ensure your website is responsive. You need to be using the latest versions of programming languages, HTML5, CSS and Java to make websites accessible across all platforms and devices.
It goes without saying that as well as your website, you also need a presence on social media – Facebook and Twitter should be a bare minimum for consumer-facing companies. Social media has become a foundation in the way businesses and brands connect with consumer with 74% of consumers citing relying on social media to make purchasing decisions and over 50% of people recommending companies and products on Twitter.
But what about your back office?
The FSB is also reminding companies to apply the digital makeover to their back office as well as the customer facing elements. “Improving your back office processes – is one of the best things businesses can do to improve productivity”. However, whilst great deal of progress has been made in optimising paper flow, little or no effort has been invested in ensuring that back-office departments have the right number of employees, with the right skills, to do the right job, at the right time. Even with the best workflow operations, people are still needed to process transactions – it is just as important to invest in human capital as well, changing the behaviour of employees and developing their IT skills.