Do not equate the use of technology with improvement. That is the mistake that US colleges make where they feel they can justify their massive fees because they update their technology every two years. If you cannot leverage technology, if you cannot use it as a leaping point into higher realms of business activity, then you shouldn’t have it. The tips in this article will help you improve your small business, they will help solidify your small business, and through proper use, they will excel your business.
1 – Set up a Website
Telling you to have a website in 2020+ is like telling a taxi driver to have a car, but where you may be using website technology, are you leveraging it?
Your website should be your online ambassador. It should be the central hub of your online marketing, and that idea is a little lost on some people. Through the habit of making sales on social media and through mobile platforms, people are not pushing viewers towards their website, but this is a mistake.
Leverage your website by making it the net by which you reel in your customers. Your social media campaigns, PPC adverts, mobile apps, cold calls, and digital signs should be hooks that drag people to your website so that you can sell to them.
2 – Set up Home CCTV Cameras
How are home CCTV cameras supposed to propel your business to new levels and new heights? There are several reasons, but the first is that it gives you a lot of peace of mind and reassurance. Knowing that your house is being watched at night is good, especially when people find out you are running a home business, but the level of reassurance goes further than that. As a home-worker, you often feel a little isolated, and it gets to the point where you are wondering if every noise outside is another delivery person, somebody tramping across your garden or somebody rummaging through your bins. Being able to glance at your monitors and see that everything is normal is very reassuring.
Then there is the fact you can see when delivery and pickup people are at your door, and you can keep an eye on your family to see if there is any reason to stop working to go and sort out a problem. You can even set it up to see when your dog is waiting by the door, giving you less of a reason to be distracted while working.
3 – Use LibreOffice
Perhaps one of the best pieces of free software on the planet, LibreOffice was created by a dedicated team of hundreds of developers, who over time have created something that beats Microsoft Office. If you are paying for Microsoft Office, then stop right now and switch to LibreOffice for free.
No free trials, no adverts, and no nagging for money. It is 100% free and does everything that Microsoft Office does…and more. Plus, if you are a coder, you can add to it or modify it with no legal repercussions.
4 – Use Blender, Audacity, Inkscape and GIMP
We live in an age when high-quality visual tools are free too. Blender was created and released for free by Pixar after they created Toy Story 1 with it, and since then its developers have pushed it from strength to strength. It is now a very powerful animator and video editor.
Audacity is the best piece of free audio adjusting software you will find on the planet and is a must if you are looking to create high quality audio for your podcasts, adverts, or your videos. Inkscape is a very good and very impressive vector drawing program that works for everything from your animations to your product designs.
GIMP is very powerful, but its power is hidden behind a set of functions that are very difficult to use and even more difficult to master. Nevertheless, if you are willing to put in the time, then you will have a good image editor and image photo shopping program and it is completely free.
Why opt for free software when you can pay for them? There are some free programs out there that are not as good as the paid versions, but Blender, Audacity, Inkscape and GIMP are not only as good as their paid alternatives, but they are also actually better. They are made by dedicated people who do not even ask payment for them. Pragmatically, you shouldn’t be paying for these sorts of things if you can get them for free, but it is not even about that. It is about how the paid alternatives are bloating out their software to justify their costs, when there are programs like Blender, Audacity, Inkscape and GIMP that are keeping things streamlined, smooth, and very efficient.
5 – Set up Digital Sign Schedules at Home
You need a somewhat strict schedule in order to get your work done. You need to plan out your time and make sure you stick to it. Using digital signage apple TV around your own home may seem like overkill, but it puts your business on a very firm footing.
People in your house know where you are, and they know what you are doing. It sets up a series of boundaries that you can more easily enforce. It is also useful for the rest of the family, especially if you wish to run a tight ship where your business activities do not impact your family.
Don’t just put your business schedule onto the digital signs, allow the rest of the family to use it. Coordinate as a group and individually, and not only will you increase your productivity, but you will increase family harmony too.
Just make sure that you enforce your schedules and that you stick to them. Make sure that if family members enter something into the schedule, then they stick to it. This will teach your younger members responsibility and will help you maintain your schedule because you know people are sticking to it.
6 – Outsource Your AI Bulk Email Sending
Some of the more popular bulk-email sending services are now very sophisticated, they are respected, and they use AI to help you make the most of your email marketing efforts. There is a tip below, tip number nine, that suggest you take over part of your manufacturing process. In short, it asks you to look at your business and see if there are any parts you can do yourself. Where that is good advice in most cases, it is bad advice when it comes to bulk-email sending and email marketing.
The fact is that the companies you outsource to are very good at their job. You create your marketing, you build the list, but they do the actual sending. You can use their tools to help you legitimately build a list, and their tools will help you keep your emails legal. Their tools will also help you figure out when you should send them, and how you should send them so that you are less likely to be blocked.
7 – Microphones and Good Quality Cameras and Camcorders
Do not opt for Smartphone cameras, camcorders, and microphones. It is true that they have come a long way, but the end result differences are jarring when compared to high-quality devices.
This is probably the most true when it comes to microphones. Even the best microphones on Smartphones even a fraction as good as a mid-to-low priced microphone. Plus, if you get a good deal and opt for a middle-priced microphone, then the quality levels skyrocket when compared with Smartphones. Plus, you have to remember that when you are editing the sound and cleaning it up, your good-quality microphone will help you far more than your Smartphone microphone. Even on a basic level, your microphone is going to give you more audio data to play with within your audio editing software.
In sharp second place are good-quality cameras compared to Smartphone cameras. Again, we live in an age where even a non-DSLR mid-to-low priced camera is going to beat the conkers off a Smartphone. The effect is again very jarring, but it is only noticeable when you get your images on your computer and onto your editing and photo-shopping software. It is only then that you notice how little information you have to work with when you use a Smartphone, and how much visual information is included when you use a good-quality camera.
You have probably already noticed that your videos on your Smartphone do not look good when they are on a regular monitor or TV screen. The sad fact about Smartphone cameras (camcorders) is that they only look good on other phones. For some people, this is enough. However, if your business relies on videos for adverts, demonstrations, or for drumming up support, then a high good quality camcorder is needed.
8 – High Quality Earphones
If you want to work at home, then you are going to have to work around other people. There is a lot of noise around your house, usually coming from members of your own family. And sometimes you need to zone out and be able to concentrate on your own thing. With that being the case, high-quality headphones become a staple of your business activities.
If you are doing something like writing or reading, then opt for music that doesn’t have words. When you try to write or read with words, your brain will focus on what you are doing, but it also cannot help focusing on what is being said in the song. Also, even if you are writing, do not be afraid to listen to high-tempo music because it often enlivens you and helps you work faster.
If you are doing things of a practical manual bent, then any sort of sound in your ears will be better than that of the neighbor’s dog barking, your kids yelling about which Spiderman is better, or the living room TV playing a theme tune every 30 minutes as somebody in the family binge watches a TV show.
9 – Take Over Part of the Manufacturing Process
There are several ways in which you may take over a part of your manufacture or sales process. For example, why are you not making your own boxes for your products rather than paying other people? Could you make sweet gifts like candy corns to put into your boxes when you sell? Are you paying other people to do your website developing when you could learn the skills yourself?
In some cases, your first response is going to be that you cannot afford to manufacture at the same low rates that you suppliers can, but is that honestly the case? There are plenty of larger-item suppliers who discovered they can cut and create their own box containers for less than what they are paying right now.
Sometimes, you have to dig to find the right suppliers for your raw ingredients, and when you do, you discover you can take over part of your process and do it yourself. Part of the challenge is to go over every consumable part of your business and ask yourself if you could do it cheaper and/or better.
10 – Get an Eco-Friendly Printer
This may sound like the dumbest idea on the planet when we are living in an online world, but your eco-friendly printer can now be used to print postage rather than having a franking machine, or using stamps, or taking your parcels to the shop. These days, even delivery services expect you to print out your postage labels, and if you are not, then you are missing out on a very convenient way to post parcels and products out to people.
Plus, since you are a small business, you should be printing out personalized thank you messages to put into your parcels, as well as discount codes for future purchases, and link codes so that your recipients may do a little word-of-mouth marketing for added bonuses, discounts and rewards.
Charlie Svensson is fast, engaging freelance writer. Skilled in content writing and blogging. The favorite topics of his posts are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging and self-growth. Excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences.