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How do you modernise and future-proof your small business?

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With times changing at such a fast speed, it’s fair to say that it can be pretty difficult for businesses big and small to keep up with the expectations of their customers. New technologies get released onto the market each and every day, and the wants and needs of your audience are bound to adapt and evolve accordingly!

Thankfully, this handy guide is here to help you modernise and future proof your small business, no matter what kind of industry you operate within. You’ll be able to maintain the greatest confidence that your company can thrive for years to come, continuing to satisfy your clients with each sale that’s made! So, what are you waiting for? Read on to discover more and change your small business for the better today.

Upgrade and Improve Your Website

One of the most effective ways to update your business in order to protect your profits for years to come is by upgrading and improving your website. In today’s modern world, such a large percentage of commerce is now being done exclusively through the web. This means that if you have a low-quality website that doesn’t function well or instill trust from your customers, then you could be losing out on a dramatic volume of business while potentially damaging your reputation at the same time.

In many cases, especially when it comes to young adults and teens, the internet is the first place that a person will look when they would like to go shopping. So, what would one of your customers encounter if they were to stumble across your website? If they were to find an unsightly platform that was lagging and crashing, with misspelled content and few features to utilise, then the chances are they will simply click back and find another more worthwhile website instead. However, if you present them with a sleek, elegant and easy to use platform that does the job without the need for any struggle, then your popularity could begin to grow at record speed!

In order to take your business website to a whole new level, start by addressing your design and theme. You must ensure that you can strike the right balance of freshness and professionalism, as your website should look hip and trendy without being overbearing and distracting. There’s nothing worse than bright colours and clashing patterns taking your customers’ attention away from your products and services, so make sure your content can stand out from your theme. Don’t forget to take steps to improve your content itself too, as the product descriptions, news and other written material that you publish online can either make or break your audience’s abilities to trust your company! Countless spelling mistakes and grammatical errors put customers off far more than you could ever expect, as they will nearly instantly lose faith in your company and potentially even view your operations as a scam. Always proofread your content, and use an appropriate tone of voice.

Not only can your website’s theme and content impact your audience’s opinion of your business but so too can your digital customer service. What steps are you taking to ensure your web-based clientele can get the best possible experience when shopping with you through the internet? In a brick and mortar store, a shop assistant can ask a customer if they need any help, point them in the right direction, answer any questions, solve any problems and do lots more, simply because they are standing right there in front of a customer. This is something that’s hard to recreate online, as you can’t walk up to a customer or even speak to them face-to-face as you would in a real-life store! Thankfully, there is a near-perfect solution that can put an end to countless customer service issues that many websites encounter online – a chatbot service! Finding the best chatbot to add to your website could help to take your platform to new heights, as you’ll be able to converse with your audience with ease and subsequently provide them with a much better level of customer service. You can use AI (artificial intelligence) to run your chatbot, or alternatively you can employ a member of staff to man your service instead!

Develop a Social Media Presence

Another excellent step that you should consider taking if you would like to modernize and future proof your small business is to develop a social media presence. The time the average individual in the developed world spends online would be a real shock to most people, as in fact it’s extremely common for young adults to spend upwards of 8-10 hours browsing on their phone each and every day. This is something that you can certainly take advantage of, as this provides you with a whole new opportunity to grab your audience’s attention – through social media.

The most popular social media sites can attract upwards of 3-4 billion active users each and every day, and many of these users will check back through the day and night whenever they have a spare moment. Social media users aren’t usually searching for something in particular, just something that will grab their attention and leave them interested and intrigued. This could be a post about your products and services, meaning internet users across the globe could see and learn about your business and what it has to offer, at any time of day or night. Social media sites have no closing time, so you could create campaigns that continue to provide conversions even when your office has long been locked up for the day. Every business should be taking the time to craft a brilliant social media presence, but where do you start?

It’s fairly simple to set up a social media account for your small business, as all you really need is an email address to begin. To set up your account in the best possible fashion, choose a theme or design from the get go and be sure to maintain this with every post and personalisation that you make. This means using one set colour palette, sticking with a specific tone of voice, and even using the same font wherever possible.

Once your page is up and running, you need to take sufficient steps to grow your audience and start drumming up attention for your new profile. To do this, you can explore a variety of different options. For starters, you can add hashtags to your posts to ensure they appear in the feeds of users who may have a genuine interest in what you have to offer. For example, if you are a company that sells kitchen equipment, then you can add hashtags such as ‘#chef’ or ‘#foodie’ to your posts – these are very popular hashtags, and they can help to channel attention towards your business like you would not believe. Another way to increase your audience on social media is to sponsor an influencer to promote your page. Social media influencers are people who have amassed a particularly large following on their social media pages, and you can pay these influencers to make posts about your page or business in order to send their loyal followers in your direction.

You can also use your social media profile to help maintain a line of communication with your audience. Social media sites provide users with the chance to engage in so many different ways, and this can be extremely helpful when it comes to making the necessary changes to maintain customer’s satisfaction. Every post that you make on social media can be commented on by other users, and these comments can express their individual opinion on your products, services and brand itself. You can reply to these comments with your business profile, and therefore offer a much better level of customer service. Users can also ‘react’ to your posts and other comments, showing how they feel about your business so that you can adapt your behavior accordingly. This information can be extremely valuable, as you can get a better idea as to whether your audience actually likes the direction your business is headed in. If you continually see that your customers are commenting negatively on your posts and reacting badly to what you have to say on social media, then you will know that it’s time to make a few changes so that you can stand the best chance of building a brilliant reputation.

Final Thoughts

Figuring out how to future proof your business has never been such a simple task when you can take the time to utilise some of the brilliant tips and ideas that have been carefully described in this informative guide. You’ll be able to see real results after you implement some of these changes, so there’s truly no time like the present to get started. Try your best to upgrade and improve your business website, and don’t forget to develop a strong social media presence, too!

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