The internet is no longer an option for businesses. It’s a mandatory tool for managing your business. If you haven’t been utilizing online tools for your business, you have been running your business the wrong way and not exposing your business to more potential sales.
And don’t think because your business is not doing well, it doesn’t need to apply online tools. Like I mentioned earlier, online tools are no longer an option. There will always be an online tool that will fit the way you do business. You just have to find what fits your business and apply it.
Even if you don’t know how to use many online tools, it’s time to get acquainted with most of them. It’s important to learn how to use online tools that fits into your kind of business model.
Using Online Tools For Business
When it comes to using online tools in your business, you must identify areas of your business where particular online tools may be useful. Or better still, identify certain aspect of your business process that would need application of online tools.
For example, below are some of the business processes that can you can apply online tools to:
- Business advertising
- Customer Services
- Customer appreciation
- Product order management
These are just a few of where online tools can be applied in your business. You should discover other areas in your business where you will need to apply online tools and apply them.
Advertising your business online is no longer strange for most business owners. The awareness is high. But what most may not understand is how to apply most of the online tools to advertise their business. This one area you need to be well schooled about online tools.
I have noticed the some kind of aggrieved marketing on Facebook, where sellers abuse and coerce their friends to buy from them as a payment for friendship. That kind of marketing is not sustainable. Learn to let customers patronize you willingly. Victimizing your potential customers would only aggrieve them rather than make them buy from you.
The growth of the internet over the years have made online advertising one of the largest platforms for businesses to promote their products and services. Not only that, it also comes with added global market reach, which many businesses couldn’t afford using other advertising platforms.
But knowing which online tool is best for advertising your business can also be tricky. For example, most businesses advertise on all the online platforms, even though the ROI comes from just a few of the platforms.
However, most businesses utilizes the vast marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email marketing for their advertising.
The best application of online tools is in the area of customer communication. Imagine giving millions of customers unrestricted access to your business. They can reach you anytime and any day. That speeds up how fast your customers can get enough information to be able to make decision about patronizing your business.
Even though it can also increase how fast customers can push complains about your products as well, but in general, having online communication link to your customers can boost your sales by 40 percent.
There are several online tools available to boost customer services. Apart from the telephone which have been around for ages, online tools like Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook & Messenger, Instagram, email and the rest, are all tools you can utilize in communicating with your customers.
The most successful businesses are those that retained most of their customers. That’s why business models like subscription based services are preferred as against one-time purchase model.
Although, Nigeria has not been able to implement subscription models in most businesses, the problem is largely due to high level of unemployment. Consumers don’t have disposable funds they can play with.
But largely, customer appreciation is key to retaining your customers even in a one-time purchase model. And there are more than enough online tools to manage customer appreciation marketing now.
Think about celebrating your customers with birthday messages. Little things makes so much difference. I used to get birthday messages from only Zenith bank, but now I also get from AIICO, and Airtel.
Most businesses think it’s only when you give discount or offer promo prices that you appreciate your customers. Get personal with them. Celebrate their children, husbands, wife, anniversaries, etc. You will be amazed what’s more important than discounts and promos.
And there are several tools you can use now to manage these alerts. But SMS alert remains the most effective for now. You can find an online tool that will automate this process for you.
Product Order Management
Businesses exist for the sole purpose of selling their product or service. Having a tool that speeds up the order management is very important. The faster your customers can buy from you the better for customer retention.
And there are better online tools now to speed up order management. The best and most utilized tool is the Ecommerce platform. It gives businesses option to automate the entire process of order management, include payment processes and even delivery.
And in a world of drop shipping, a business can operate an entire sales operation without actually doing anything themselves. You can automate an entire process from product procurement, order management, payment process and delivery using drop shipping method.
You can do anything in your business these days using online tools. The growth of online tools doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. Every day more and more online tools are being developed.
The growth of artificial intelligence will further drive the better use of online tools in business management. You can imagine incorporating your business ideas and models into an artificial intelligence and the machine takes over the setup and management of your entire business process without requiring your aid or support.
You should discover and learn to use new online tools that re coming out everyday. As they evolve learn to evolve with them. The rate at which online tools are being developed it will also increase the rate at which some of them will become obsolete.