Andy Hollingworth, director of SOHO, SME & Corporate at TalkTalk Business, on using technology to grow a business.
1. Demand more from your suppliers. As a small business owner, if you don’t honestly don’t feel that external providers understand your needs, you are probably being under-served.
2. Be effective online. Consider what impression the digital identity of your business is making on customers and prospects. Almost 1.7 million small businesses don’t have an online or social media presence. If you’ve not taken the digital plunge, act now.
3. Invest in new technology. Technology is essential for business growth, helping organisations reach larger audiences. It can futureproof your organisation and is a top five priority for businesses in Yorkshire.
4. Go mobile. Accessing important information and systems from anywhere at anytime is becoming crucial. There are plenty of low-cost and even free mobile apps available.
5. Stay connected. Internet connectivity can be the lifeblood of small businesses. A website outage can cost you sales and can lead to prospective customers not returning. Opt for business grade broadband over a home broadband package as it comes with additional IT support.
6. Try the Cloud. Cloud technology is an excellent option for any business hoping to save money. Popular cloud uses include document and data storage software. They can help small firms and single traders compete with much larger players.
7. Never miss a call. Missed calls can mean lost business. Look for a call package that allows you to pair landlines and mobile devices.
8. Make the most of partners. No one person or organisation can do it all. Concentrate on making sure you deliver your bit well.
9. Value your staff. A quarter of small businesses in Yorkshire cited creating a happy workforce is a top five business priority. Flexible working and investing in skills are both proven to create a more dynamic workforce.
10. Knowledge is power: Many start-ups fail due to a lack of experience or support. But collaboration can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to grow a business.