Technology is ever-changing. Luckily, technology usually pushes forward and not backward, which is good news for small business owners.
Technology isn’t just for the tech people of your company. There is plenty of technology out there that makes running and marketing your small business much easier to handle. In many cases, the technology in this article can even open up new opportunities for business.
I’m a big proponent of the get-out-and-do form of marketing. What this means is to take your business outside the confines of your shop and selling at places like fairs, community parks, trade shows, events, or any other place you can think of where your customer base is going to be.
The great thing about doing this is that it not only shows your customers that you know who they are, but it also gives you an excellent opportunity to make sales that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Companies like Square and Intuit have mobile payment systems that allow you to accept credit cards wherever your business has taken you. Rather than turning away people that don’t have cash or carrying around clunky credit card processors, you can be more accessible to your customer base. They’ll appreciate the effort and you’ll make more money.
Digital Marketing Software
Keeping up with digital strategy can be quite a chore. Analytics, SEM, SEO, email, social media, sales leads… the list goes on. It’s all got to be managed and maintained on a daily basis to take full advantage of everything that your great digital marketing plan can do for your business. Unfortunately, most of that technology is in separate places on your computer.
Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to have software that allowed you to keep track of all that in place? Sure it would. Companies like Optify and Kenshoo provide digital marketing software that can help build leads, grow sales, and manage all your campaigns in one spot. With programs like these, ones that consolidate your every digital marketing whim, you can save time on reports and analysis, which gives you more time to take care of other aspects of your business.
Laptop vs. Tablet
The battle over whether a tablet or laptop is better for business rages on, and truthfully, everyone has their preference. I prefer to have my laptop around because that’s where all my files are and I know that I can access them wherever I am. But, there is plenty of technology that makes accessing files on a tablet just as easy as on a laptop. Take for instance the program Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to save files to the “cloud” and access them from anywhere that you have a wifi or internet connection (imagine all those times you’ve sat at Starbucks…)
But how do these help with marketing?
The simple truth of the matter is that running your own business is a 24/7/365 occupation. There are no breaks. But, you can’t put your life on hold, so when you need numbers on your most recent ad campaign or latest marketing effort while you’re out to lunch, the question then becomes, “Am I more able to get what I need to get done on a tablet or a laptop?”
There are two different tablets that I recommend to people I talk to about the laptop vs. tablet debate. The first is the Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch. It’s kind of a hybrid laptop/tablet, which means it has a fully functioning keyboard. It’s got embedded 3G connectivity, which makes video conferencing on the go very easy, as well as getting to those files in Dropbox that much easier. The nicest thing (and one of the major advantages over the next tablet other than the keyboard) is that it charges very quickly and keeps a charge for a long time, so you won’t need to lug around a cable with you while you’re working. A major disadvantage of this tablet is that it runs on the Windows 8 OS, which isn’t super business friendly at this point. Sure you can run Office and other programs like it on the machine, but the interface still leaves much to be desired.
The second is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The Note is great for multi-tasking. You can pull up two separate screens on the same screen and take care of two tasks simultaneously, or combine the two tasks into one. This is perfect for presentations and the building of graphs. This one does not come standard with 3G or 4G, but you can easily connect to the Internet wherever you are. Of course, this tablet does not come with a keyboard, but the screen keyboard on the Note is very intuitive. It will correct your misspellings (because there will be misspellings) and suggest your words when you start typing. It’s definitely the best of the tablet keyboards out there.
Both of these are fully capable of running analytics, but the Lenovo technology runs at a higher processing speed, which means it makes work run a lot smoother when you’re using a lot of data.
Technology is changing, and with change in the technology world, change will also trickle down into the business world. Taking advantage of new trends in technology can give your business a boost, and take a little bit of the workload off of you. So be more productive and make more money!
About the Author: Genevieve Coates is a freelance writer and graduate business student at University of Florida. She is also a former staff writer at AndGeeks and Speedy. She lives in Gainesville with her husband.