This is a question that was brought up at a business meeting last week as I was talking to a new business in Wexford and the person involved was newly hired. They were eager to prove their worth in the company. Having listening to his experience and his interest in technology I explained that the Internet is an area that many owners of businesses often don’t understand or have the time too. If he could help them then he would be of move value to the company.
I had my old bosses voice ringing in my ears as I was saying phrases like, “bring me solutions to problems, don’t bring me problems” etc. An old adage but true to every era.
Understanding the Internet.
I would like to suggest that you put together a suggestion for them along the lines of using the web to increase the profile of the buinsess, reduce running costs and hey why not go for increase sales by selling online or even accepting payments online if you are a service business.
Here is s short list of some suggestions to use in your proposal.
- Use a VOIP phone system, such as Skype or the Irish voip service called MyDivert.com
- This will give you free skype to skype calls, cheaper call rates especially if you sell internationally and remember with broadband improvement the call quality is perfect and you don’t even need a pc anymore. You can plug a voip phone straight into your broadband.
- Using Emails instead of letters. Sending your correspondence by email with dramatically reduce your turn around in waiting for the post to be delivered and returning answers to you. Example: instead of sending out a printed customer survey, lets say costing €1.50 for letter, envelope and return envelope, stamps, why not set one up on www.surveymonkey.com and the results get emailed to you!
- Using PDF invoice to email invoices. Why not email your invoiced directly to your clients, are you still printing them out and posting them in the hope they get there sometime soon. Email them!
- Cutting down on stamps. We use only 1 box of stamps per month and in the next few weeks we will be cutting that down to 1 box per quarter.
- Using open source such as Open Office instead of Microsoft Office. Open Office will do everthing that MS Office will except it’s free and better!
- Start a company blog. Starting a company blog helps the business get in touch with its clients and potential customers by giving them an easy access, less formal method of asking questions before they buy or hire you. It allows you to explain your products in detail. Its what is expected these day. We dont just sell on price, we sell on quality and expertise, so demonstrate that on your company blog and be able to discuss your products and services
- Use Micro Blogging sites like twitter to get your point across in 160 characters or less!, basically this allow people to be able to follow everything you write including special offers and news.
- Create a business Facebook page where your customers can see more about you and you can push them towards your website. Example: Berney Saddlery Equestrian Shops in Arklow and Enniscorthy started a fFacebook campaign recently to help promote themselves online and to go to where people are hanging out these day, “Facebook” with nearly 1,000,000 registered users in Ireland, it is the place to be. With in a few months they have over 4,000 fans. That means when they update their profile with news of a clothing line being 25% off till lunchtime and that message get emailed to 4,000 people, Now are stamps starting to look expensive? They are to me.
- Remember the Internet is not just on computers, with more and more mobile devices now being used to access the Internet such as the Vodafone 360 and iphones it’s becoming the norm to carry the internet around in your pocked disguised as a phone!
- Sell online or if you just want to get paid faster starting accepting payment over the phone via a Virtual Terminal from WorldNET TPS This system can cost from as little as €30 a month and accepts Laser/Visa/Master cards. All you need is a broadband connection and a pc, so it suits companies in offices etc. They even have an App for the iphone!
If you can go to your boss with some of these points in a format of a plan to save the company money and promote them cheaper than they could image. . . they should be impresses or nervious, nervious of their future in business.
Help grow your business in a recession, call Dave Jordan of Cada Media Ltd