Article provided by Telkom
Nowadays, business and ICT (Information & Communications Technology) go hand in hand. In the business world of today, being competitive means being connected. Unfortunately, according to the ‘How Technology is Reshaping South Africa’s Small Business Economy’ study, conducted by Xero in partnership with World Wide Worx, 45% of small business owners acknowledge that they could be doing more with regard to technology adoption, and a further 52% stated that they feel they are just barely keeping up. What does this mean? Hardly any SMEs feel confident in using new ICT technology to their advantage.
This is a sad state of affairs, as there are almost limitless benefits when it comes to fully connecting your business. We examine just a handful of them below…
To be connected means to have the means and ability to communicate seamlessly with all customers, suppliers and employees at any given time. The vast majority of ICT solutions have been designed to help businesses achieve that goal. Streamlined communication leads to streamlined internal processes which, in turn, lead to a hearty boost in productivity which, finally, contributes to a positive transformation within the business, especially when it comes to that all-important bottom line.
Due to the fact that ICT promises better communication, there is sure to be an increase in the number of happy customers who associate themselves with your business. ICT also means that you’ll be able to offer your customers a more well-rounded experience, such as digital assistance via automated chat on your website and e-commerce options for those who would prefer to shop online. And, let’s face it, customer experience is all that really counts when it comes to ensuring a sustainable business venture.
Even if you see your business as one that is solely dedicated to servicing your local community, ask yourself this question: how much of your local community actually knows that you exist? ICT provides you with the chance to reach a greater number of people both within your town/city and, if you offer e-commerce facilities, far and wide, too. This is because it makes it possible for you to draw on the power of digital marketing. Did you know that you can now target your digital marketing efforts to reach people from specific demographics and specific locations, making every cent that you put into it a cent well spent?
This goes for insight into your clients and customers and for insight into your competitors’ successes and failures. When you have a solid internet connection working for you, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in social media and content marketing. By opening a Facebook page for your business, for example, and growing your following through your efforts, you’ll have direct access to the people responsible for making your business successful. You’ll learn more about their interests, needs and wants, as well as receive feedback regarding your products, services and the quality of your customer care. All of this information can help you to mould your establishment into more than just what you want it to be, but what your customers and clients want it to be – or, rather, what they EXPECT it to be.
Your internet connection also affords you the opportunity to keep an eye on your competitors’ online activity. Not only will you be able to see what they are doing and how they’re doing it, you’ll also be able to use this information to brainstorm how you can do it BETTER.
With the right ICT solutions in place, a reduction in operational costs is something that is certain to happen naturally. With streamlined communication comes a lower risk of human error, and a reduction in the cost that comes with rectifying these errors. With happier customers comes an increase in loyalty and word of mouth advertising, which equates to more visits to your store and more money in your pocket. With increased reach comes even more potential customers. With enhanced insight comes the chance to tailor your product/service offering to suit the needs, wants and expectations of your customers. In short, an investment in ICT almost automatically means a better financial outlook for your establishment.
From telephones, computers, servers and the internet to social media, digital advertising and content marketing, if you want to get ahead, you need to get connected.
Did you know that 41% of small businesses battle with an unreliable internet connection at work? It is Telkom’s mission to remedy this. We are all about connecting people and businesses just like yours, providing peace of mind that once you get connected, you’ll stay connected. With a variety of affordable packages to suit the requirements of your business, we will help you to take that next step towards success, growth and expansion. Visit www.telkom.co.za or your nearest Telkom store to learn more today.