Congratulations, new business owner! You’ve taken the plunge and launched your very own startup. There’s a lot going on and a thousand things to think about, but this is actually a great time to be starting a brand-new company. Why, you ask? The technology, of course! While nothing will ever make entrepreneurship a walk in the park, there are plenty of tech solutions out there to make your life easier. Here are three big struggles entrepreneurs face, and the technology solutions that will help you solve them.
Keeping Customers Engaged
It costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one coming back again and again. To make this happen, you’ll need to keep reminding your customers that you’re there. A strong social media presence and regular email communication are both great ways to keep your business top of mind.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to set this up! Just one post a day on your Facebook page is a great start. Be real, be friendly, and showcase your products with photos when possible. Reply to comments and reviews as they come in, and you’ll reap the benefits of a customer base that feels heard and valued. Want to kick things up a notch? There are plenty of services that can help you automate your social media posting. For your email newsletters, don’t worry about creating anything amazing and fancy at first. Use a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact and lean heavily on their pre-made templates. Most of these services can also help you create great sign up forms for your website to capture emails in the first place, or you can enter them in yourself from your customer file. As far as content, you can broadcast company news, highlight new products, or offer special deals and promotions. The key is consistent communication that provides value without going overboard – once or twice a month is usually best.
Cultivating an Online Presence
If you’re posting regularly on social media, you’ve already started working on your next objective – making it easy for customers to connect with you around the web. It goes without saying that you should have a website, but what you put on that website matters as well. Have a blog page that you update periodically with fresh content. For topic ideas, think about the questions your customers most frequently ask and answer them in-depth. Then, when a potential customer is looking for the answers to questions related to your industry, your post may appear in their search results. They’ll be taken to your website and may make a purchase, and at the very least you’ll have identified yourself as a credible source for information in your industry.
Another great way to build your online presence is through reviews. We know, Yelp and other similar sites often get a bad reputation among business owners, but it still pays to ask for and respond to customer feedback. There are lots of ways to encourage happy customers to leave kind words – a sign at your cash register, a verbal request from the cashier, an email a day or two after their purchase – and the more reviews you have, the better. It’s also important to respond to each one in a sincere and personalized way – we wrote a whole blog on how to do that.
Using the Latest in Payment Technology
Payments? Really? Yes, really. The technology you use to process payments is critically important to the overall success of your business. You’ll want to work with a processor who understands this and who takes the time to educate you on the different products and services that might be best for your business. For example, would a mobile payment device that allows you to walk around your large showroom and make sales right on the floor be useful? How about a virtual terminal that eliminates the need for a physical machine altogether? Talk with your payment processing partner about the latest options to make sure you’re getting what you need.
We’d love to help you navigate the complex world of payment processing – we’ll make it simple, we promise! At 360 Payments, we pride ourselves on being a true partner to our customers, helping them run their businesses in the best way possible. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to help you find the perfect technology solutions to grow your business.
PS – Speaking of credit card technology, did you know that there are three levels of processing? Don’t worry, we wrote a blog about that.
PPS – Forget what you think you know about American Express – high rates and slow funding are a thing of the past.