Nowadays, it takes a lot for an apparently successful small business to become fully-fledged. Many fail within the first year without investment, and that’s much harder to come by.
Indeed, in the current climate, it is even harder than before for a small business to succeed in the UK. Provisional results for the third quarter of 2022 show that business investment was down, lagging behind the wider economy investment. That meant that small businesses were working with fewer resources, relying on their own steam to power through the crisis and be a success.
A successful small business isn’t all about a great business idea, although it is fundamental to the process. Instead, a successful small business is often marked out by how the leaders leverage technology that’s not necessarily linked to their core practice. We’re talking about the digital tools available to all small businesses, which only the successful know how to leverage for growth. What digital tools are we talking about, and how can they be applied to you to help drive your small business’s success? Read on to find out.
Social media is perhaps the most important digital tool you can use to ensure your small business gets ahead of the pack. It is flexible, with different platforms offering different types of communication opportunities. Instagram is great for showcasing products, whilst LinkedIn is more corporate and focused on business services and skills.
Localised small businesses can leverage Facebook for increased exposure, whilst Twitter facilitates engagement with like-minded individuals. Each social media platform offers a different communication or advertising opportunity, and understanding which works for you and your core demographic is vital for ongoing success.
One thing that all small businesses need is a vehicle by which to take money. After all, you’re in business to make money, to reap the rewards of your hard work. If the only medium you accept is cash, you will restrict your in-person and online potential. That is why a vital digital tool is a robust and comprehensive selection of small business payment solutions, including online, mobile phone, email, and card payments.
Today’s digital tools allow you to offer safe payments on whatever platform you trade. That might be using Samsung Pay in person or having the protection offered by PayPal for business transactions. You increase your earning potential by offering multiple payment methods, whatever goods or services you’re trading in.
You might benefit from your own app, whether online or a physical business. It’s suggested up to 48% of small
businesses have their own app in 2023, which is perfect for customer engagement and interaction.
Some small businesses leverage other apps for their success – an example would be the Near Cut app, where local barbers can take bookings and payments without setting up their own software.
An app is an upgrade on a website, as they are mobile friendly. Some websites look muddled on the different-sized screens of a phone or tablet, and people tend to find a dedicated app easier to navigate and use on a mobile device. If you don’t have the facility to develop one, why not consider joining one of the community apps to offer your services instead?
So you have a social media presence, payment solutions and a great business idea – is that enough? Much will depend on your business, and which digital tools you leverage is dependent a little on what you do.
Multiple offices? No problem, instant messaging software such as Slack will keep you connected. Are you in the retail business? Then a solid stock management system will be vital for maintaining your stock levels and keep your customers happy.