Securing funding and getting your business up and running is one thing, but what plans do you have to take your new venture to the next level in 2017? While there is no doubt a host of urgent issues on your desk, small businesses can seldom ignore the importance of a digital health check. From mobile sites to digital payment options, there is so much to consider when it comes to stealing a march on the opposition.
Here, we run down a little checklist of items that you should ensure are in shipshape as the year progresses.
Taking Payments into the 21st Century
Customers want a range of options when it comes to paying for goods and services, so it is important to understand what best suits your clients’ needs.
For example, online casinos offer much more than standard debit card payments and have been among the first companies to make use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in order to appeal to the widest possible audience. Some even offer their players the opportunity to make a deposit by phone bill so they can keep their accounts topped up with small amounts and only pay at the end of the month. This approach is ideal for that sector as it offers ease and flexibility for the customer.
“Mobile Payment: QR-code scan (300 dpi)” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by pr_ip
While that approach won’t work for all businesses, think about what your customers expect. Mobile wallet platforms like PayPal are growing in popularity and could soon be an option for payment on Amazon. Is this something you should be looking at too?
Do not underestimate the importance of this issue, as research last year by WorldPay found that more than a fifth of consumers had abandoned purchases in the past if their desired means of payment was not possible.
Are You Making a Mark Online?
Of course, in order to generate payments you may need to grow your customer base. Ensuring your online assets are meeting your requirements is vital to this.
While this may seem obvious, many small businesses are spinning a lot of plates and it can often be difficult to find time to consider whether the website that you set up during a spare hour five months ago is actually fit for purpose.
Look at the design and style of the site and consider if it is truly offering the right impression of your business. It is getting across all the key messages you want to showcase?
Another approach to consider is whether you can use search engine marketing tools to further boost your visibility online. Using promotional tools on Google is a not necessarily expensive approach to marketing that could drive up visits to your site.
Supporting websites through the use of social media is another essential part of the business world these days.
Research from LinkedIn has previously found that 81% of small businesses see social media as important for growth, with it undoubtedly being a tool ideal for breaking through to your target audience and showcasing what you have to offer.
Consider what specific platforms are right for you. For example, do you sell products which are perfect from promoting with images through Instagram, or are you looking to get conversations going with consumers on Facebook?
There can be so much going on within SMEs, but getting social should certainly be on the to-do list.
Plenty to Consider
There is a lot to do to ensure that you are maximising every opportunity when it comes to the digital world. However, addressing the above issues should hopefully be a vital starting point to moving your business forward and enjoying growth.