The Need for Speed: Accelerating Business Growth through Improved Connectivity
Robots, smart homes, and driverless cars—in just a few years, what was once in the realm of science fiction is fast becoming commonplace in our reality. From big machines that used to fill entire rooms, we’ve moved to sleek devices that easily fit in your pocket.
Technology is so deeply ingrained into our routines that we barely notice how much we rely on it. The latest trends, popular brands, prices, customer reviews, even the shortest route to the store—everything you need today is now just one tap away.
Just as access to fast internet changes consumer behavior, so does it shape the way we do business. With over 3.33 billion people active online, everyone from small to large enterprises have much to gain from some kind of online presence. So how can startups and small businesses harness the power of the internet to their advantage?
If you’re not online, you don’t exist
No business is too small to have a website. A search that comes up empty will leave customers thinking twice about your credibility. It may lead them to question your legitimacy, or worse—rule you out for being too small to deliver quality goods and services.
You don’t need an in-house development team to have your own website. If ready-to-use templates don’t appeal to you, take advantage of the gig economy and hire freelancers that can build your site at a lower cost. At the very least, have a Facebook business page so your clients can find you online.
The biggest complaint about small business websites are slow loading times and broken links. This can be avoided by doing some housekeeping from time to time. Both Google and your customers love fresh content, so take the time to update your site regularly.
A significant online presence helps build credibility. Aside from your address, phone numbers, and product details; don’t be afraid to use this space to share your story. It’s this kind of personalised attention that will set you apart from big brands.
Be an expert and share industry insights
Why do we go to a dentist when we have toothache? The answer is simple—because they are experts at dental health. You know your business the best. If you establish yourself as an expert in your particular niche, customers will give you their trust and keep coming back to you.
Blogging is a quick and affordable way to keep your website updated, while establishing authority in your field. Informative content effectively guides your prospects through their buying journey. Supplement your strategy by sharing these articles on your social networks to expand your reach.
Continue the conversation
In this day and age, marketing can be tricky. Adults are less trusting of traditional ads, while the youth are practically immune to it. Going social lets you highlight the competitive advantage of SMEs—the human component of your business.
Social media is a less formal, yet powerful platform that lets you interact directly with your market. Get this right, and it will work wonders for your brand. A virtual unknown can shoot up to fame with a single viral post.
Instead of competing with big brands who have millions of dollars in ad spend, focus on turning your customers into avid supporters. Upload highly shareable content like high quality photos and videos to engage your customers and keep the conversation going. Always be prompt when replying to service or product-related tweets and comments.
Optimise business processes
Running a business and working on your business are two different things. On one hand, you have administrative tasks that are crucial to operations. On the other, you have the job of constantly developing your product. Through cloud technology, you can gain access to hosted applications that have enterprise grade functionality, with a small business price tag.
Payroll, bookkeeping, inventory, staffing, customer relationship management—you don’t need to be an expert to take on these tasks on your own. Today, Software as a Service (SaaS) and virtual office tools are designed to help business owners work faster, smarter, and more efficiently. The flexibility and portability of these tools breaks down geographical barriers, allowing SMEs to tap into new markets and to access top talent regardless of location.
Investing in the future
All of these activities rely on one thing—fast and reliable internet services. But for years, entrepreneurs in remote and regional communities have suffered from slow speeds and intermittent connections. Within CBDs, the growing number of users continue to put a strain on the aging copper network.
As the resource industry slows down, entrepreneurship is expected to take front and center, steering the Australian economy towards a new era of prosperity. With this in mind, faster speeds and better connectivity is needed to open up new opportunities.
Upgrades to the existing infrastructure using mixed fibre and wireless technologies is expected to deliver a minimum of 25 Mbps. With this kind of connectivity, businesses like yours can maintain your website, produce high quality content for your social media, and take advantage of hosted applications without worrying about slow speeds and working around peak hours.
Changes in technology can be daunting, especially for entrepreneurs in non-technical industries. This is why it’s important to work with a provider with only your best interest in mind. Here at Alltel, our business consultants can help make your transition to the NBN a smooth one. Just give us a call at 1 300 ALLTEL or visit our official website www.alltel.com.au for more information on our internet services.