Small and medium-sized businesses that adopt advanced mobile technologies to stay connected with customers and streamline operations increase revenues up to two-times faster and add jobs up to eight-times faster than their peers. The Mobile Revolution: How Mobile Technologies Drive A Trillion-Dollar Impact is an extensive study published recently as a collaboration between the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Qualcomm.
BCG surveyed 3,500 small- and medium-sized enterprises in six countries—the U.S., Germany, South Korea, Brazil, China and India—and those showing growth also reported increases in innovation and efficiency. Businesses identified as leaders in the study employ productivity technologies such as voice, text and email, and operational tools such as job tracking, mobile data analytics, mobile friendly websites and company specific apps.
Choosing which technology is right for your small business can be overwhelming. Experts recommend to first gain a clear understanding of how you plan to use technology to affect change, considering:
Business owners are skilled, knowledgeable and hardworking, but most are not experts at everything. So, it's okay to fill in the gaps where expertise is not up to par, or it's eating up too much time, with outsourcing. Let someone else mind things that you cannot (or should not) to free up time to focus on core business initiatives and bringing home the bacon.
Take a realistic look at strengths, available time and business needs. Even if you're capable of creating a brochure, but it takes twice as long as a professional designer, evaluate time and money lost. And don't underestimate the available options. Outsourcing opens you up to a massive freelance community, well beyond the talent available in your area. So, even if you're in Toledo and they're in Tacoma, the power of the Internet connects you to the workforce you need.
Outsourcing allows you to:
We can probably all agree that taking out a small business loan is right up there in popularity with root canals and public speaking. Financial regulations and loan costs have forced many banks out of small business loans, making Main Street dreams increasingly difficult to achieve. But if you're in the market for a lender, there are solid reasons to consider traditional banking alternatives.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, which takes investors straight to the source to invest in small business and personal loans, might be an option. Advantages include:
Effective social media means keeping things interesting, engaging and helpful. The ultimate goal is to get followers to share and participate. But, what is ‘good' content? Is it staying away from political, spammy or unethical posts? Yes, but it's not that simple. We live in a socially saturated world that demands worthwhile messages that quickly grab our interest.
Some things to consider:
Above all, keep it fresh. No one wants to read the same post again and again. And since you should limit your words, think about the impact of each one. Keep messages persuasive and active. Also, spend plenty of time writing about things unrelated to your business. We repeat: unrelated! Many experts recommend an 80/20 rule, which suggests the majority of posts should include relevant information that adds value, whether that's from you or other shared sources, and only the smallest portion are self-serving and promotional. So mind the posts mentioning sales and specials—too many and you could lose followers. (Manta.com)
Most small business owners might not make the connection between what they do, what they produce and a large warehouse club known for selling behemoth-sized mounds of goods daily. But, think again. There are actual success stories of entrepreneurs who make their way to selling to these stadium-sized retailers. But before you head out to make your pitch, prepare to fit the big-guys expectations (large quantity and low cost) and you might just land a contract that will help grow your business to the next size up.
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.