The world has moved online. Choice is no longer an afternoon spent on the high street. Choice is the swipe of a screen away. Staying competitive isn’t easy, but there are ways and means of remaining relevant.
If you think that your business is doing just fine without any need to prepare for the future, good luck. Remember, if you see peace, plan for war. Today, we’re going to look at how to plan for the future, because buyer trends are fickle and you need to be vigilant.
Professional Invoicing Software
Every company needs to invest in invoicing software (see FreshBooks.com for ideas). Companies that fail to embrace the benefits of invoicing software rarely have anything positive to say about their methods of maintaining revenue streams. Let’s get into it.
Many companies start out by making business contacts over social media. That’s a standard way to promote your business for free and begin to build a loyal customer base. The only problem is that some companies never progress beyond this stage, believing that the “as-needed” model for contacting clients isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed.
But ask yourself how many times clients have queried a bill. Or ask yourself how often clients will delay payment for days (if not weeks), leading you to chase them and sour the relationship. Invoicing software takes all the guesswork out of billing your clients. Present the total bill on time and list how to pay. It works.
Startups can be forgiven for plying their staff with outdated technologies to save on capital costs. It’s rare that a business would have the money in place at the outset to equip an entire workforce with modern technology (e.g., laptops, telephones, etc.).
However, outdated technology walks a fine line between remaining partially relevant and being classed as legacy software or hardware. There are two problems with continuing to use such technologies beyond the reasonable timeframe of having earned enough revenue to fix the problem.
First, you won’t attract top talent with an office that looks like it is kitted out with hardware that was salvaged from the Titanic. Second, customers won’t enjoy constant issues at your end. They want a smooth service. They do not want to be told that the system is down.
There are a hundred metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) on which you could base the decisions that carry your business forward. The fact is that different companies use different ways to measure performance. Money isn’t everything.
For example, do you know how many people viewed your product online before buying in store? If you don’t know the data, you might withdraw a sales tactic that you didn’t know was working well for you.
Likewise, a lack of data could see you plough your marketing budget into the wrong social media channels. You have to know your audience, their motivations, and their preferences. Otherwise, it’s your opinion vs theirs (and as the saying goes, the customer is always right – better get with the data game before it’s too late!).