How to Make Your Small Business More Efficient

Making the leap from entrepreneur to small business owner is an amazing, rewarding path, but it is one that comes with twists and turns. Your successful startup means that you're already ahead of the pack—just think, your unique idea is something people want, and your innovative brain came up with that idea! You've powered through the initial grind, staked your claim on your corner of the market, and found people who believe in you and your business—your startup is finally ready to grow. But whether your business is just you, or you and a few employees, finding the right resources to help you evolve to the next level can be tough. Running a small business is hard enough without having to constantly search and save for the new pieces of software you need to streamline your business processes.

But sometimes, new technology makes it difficult for you to feel like the innovative leader you truly are. With new apps and websites appearing daily, small business owners need to be savvier and more tuned-in than ever, especially when it comes to client outreach. These days, customers expect an amazing customer service experience. American Express discovered in 2017 that customers are willing to spend 16% more to receive an excellent customer service experience, and more than half of returning customers who have had an excellent customer service experience will spend more money. But focusing on customer outreach can be difficult, especially for a small company.

While you're busy juggling the million little things you need to do in order to focus and maintain your business—branding, marketing, inventory, finances, analytics—it's easy to lose sight of your goals and your customers. Essential responsibilities can't fall to the wayside, and while you may be lucky enough to have a few employees helping out, sometimes you just don't have the resources to get outside assistance. So how can you stop working hard and start working smart? If you've managed to stay above water this long, but you can't quite pull yourself out of the current, it's time to kick those creative rudders into gear. However, it's almost impossible to dedicate time to your creative vision when you're too busy spending time managing your apps and wrapped up in busy work.

Imagine if your apps were automated and did the busy work for you, and your customer information was all in one place. What if your software automatically created a profile for customers, linked them to their invoices and purchases, and you could see everything without a single line of code? While manually inputting the majority of your client and business information may currently make you feel like you need to be outsourcing, imagine if you could easily do it all on your own. You can, and integrated apps are the answer!

Using a cloud-based operating system that has 40+ integrated apps, you'll no longer have to string together your finance software, your inventory management, your CRM, your email. Whether you have one, six, or ten essential aspects of your business, each can be managed from one single dashboard. For instance, having a CRM that is integrated with your finances keeps you from zipping back and forth between two services, inputting information for an hour—an hour you could be spending on valuable customer interaction, or on a call with a potential sponsor. One comprehensive platform can give you back the time to focus on what's important.

Speaking of what's important, let's discuss customers. Your clientele wants to shop local, they want to buy small, they want a personal touch—that's why they love you. But sometimes, it's hard to respond to every request if you don't have the staff or resources needed. With Zoho Desk, you can customize your very own help desk, where tickets can be organized, your customers can feel attended to, and you can unify every person that you work with to ensure the customer experiences are absolutely perfect. Zoho Desk lets you build automatic replies and chatbots using Zoho SalesIQ, meaning your customers can get prompt responses to ensure their needs are being heard and met. And what's more, all details from Desk and any chat transcripts will also be pushed to your CRM, giving your sales team the information they need to cross-sell and upsell when (and only when) your customers are happy. Bring the people who support you to the forefront, so you can stop worrying if you're meeting all their needs—instead, you can know you're addressing them.

Even with your customers finally getting the attention they need, as a business owner, your work (almost) never ends. Every business is different, so you need to be able to tailor whatever software you procure to serve you best. Need customization for your software, but don't have experience coding? Zoho Creator allows you to build custom apps for your business (no Computer Science degree required). Say, for example, that you're a real estate agent who needs a custom form to schedule viewings for your customers. Creator allows you to build those custom forms with easy-to-use drag-and-drop features, so you don't have to code. And then you can build custom workflows on top of that, like if you want to notify only certain customers of a new viewing. It also easily integrates with your current apps, turning your busy work into background work so you can prioritize what's important.

While resources may be tight for your business, it's essential to pause and consider exactly what you need for your business. Incorporating one integrated operating system can help streamline your business and is a great step in reaching your growth goals—save time, effort, and valuable resources so that you have time to focus on what matters to you.

Want to learn more? Join us for a free, educational seminar near you so that you can learn how you can optimize your business. Zoho is all about educating and empowering you, and we want you to have the right tools so you can grow. Come to a Zoho One seminar to learn about our business and get the resources you need to take your innovative business to new heights.


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