Small businesses have no choice but to stay up to date in terms of technology. And we’re not just talking the stuff that could be enormously expensive here. Sure, ensuring point of sales systems are EMV-ready (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) is going to become important if you don’t want to shoulder the responsibility of fraud that stems from using a credit card at your POS device. And that will be the case if you aren’t EMV-ready come October.
But even small changes can make a big difference. Adapting and embracing what technology offers will set you apart from competitors and customers will love you for it. Here are just three examples. While they’re very different from one another, the end result was the same – operating more effectively and happier customers.
One Girl Cookies
Joel Branson, manager at One Girl Cookies, took a leap into technology. When he first arrived at his new position, he was faced with good old fashioned cash registers. He know that wasn’t going to help him in his quest to better the company. He needed a way to keep up with things whether he was in the store or not. He not only needed to be able to check numbers and stats anytime from anywhere, he needed something that was smart and could actually decipher what it all meant. For example, not just a bunch of numbers showing the quantity of a certain product that’s been sold. But to clearly see that cupcakes sell better on Mondays for some reason, while cakes sell better on the weekend.
The answer for him was an iPad app – the Shop Keep POS. Using this app required no tedious hardware or software installation. And he could open it up anytime. It gave him the power to know which products are more profitable and even when more staff would be needed to keep up with peak times. The data and insight it made available allowed him to completely sell out of everything on Valentine’s Day. You can find out more about this and a few other technologies that they now use here.
Montway Auto Transport
You probably don’t think of auto transport companies as being in the lead when it comes to technology. You think about them showing up and loading a vehicle up and zooming off to their destination. But there’s a lot that goes into planning that transport and there’s a lot of room for improvement in creating seamless communication with customers. For the most part. Montway realized this and did something about it.
They very well know that they have to put technology to work for them and not the other way around. In fact, they have their own development team that focuses on the best user experience for the customer and they’re always looking for ways to improve their service. The created a custom car shipping rate calculator that can help customers quickly get information they’re looking for. And their newest project is the “Miles Ahead” auto transportation portal, which is geared towards enterprise partners.
Balestrieri Environmental & Development, Inc was struggling to find a way to stand out in a low-barrier industry that’s so crowded. They offer commercial and industrial customers environmental and building renovation services. They had no problem becoming known as a reputable, high-quality organization. But creating an effective, true-to-their story brand was something that just seemed out of reach.
Now, you may not see this as technology, but it is. Something as simple as a website and new marketing material can change things significantly… and it’s not easy. So they went to SignalFire for help. Signalfire keeps up with trending technology and web development, as well as marketing and branding. Balestrieri’s website at the time was a poorly outdated HTML site that just wasn’t cutting it.
SignalFire identified three main problems and implemented solutions – starting with a new brand and up-to-date mobile friendly website with a powerful content management system. The last step was printed marketing materials and promotional items for giveaways. The result? The traffic to their website increased by almost 50 percent. Lead generation increased more then 15 percent.
Bottom line? It doesn’t matter if you’re developing your own apps and tools for customers, updating your website or making it mobile ready or getting set up with cutting edge analytics… technology plays an important role and ignoring it will could spell out bad news for your business.