What every small business should know about going digital
Thinking about pushing your businesses presence in the digital market? Here are some vital points to think about when planning your success
With the majority of businesses now owning a website to advertise their services, more needs to be done in 2016 than ever to make yours stand out. It needs to be well maintained, highly available and user friendly, advertising the correct content for your customers to see.
Small to medium enterprises and start-ups have emerged as serious contenders to established corporate entities in recent years, particularly online. The trend has taken to the fast lane with many digital tools available for small businesses. For instance, solutions such as CRMs (Customer Relationship Managers) were once exclusively available and affordable to big firms. However with the rise of scalable and affordable cloud services that are increasingly more accessible to small businesses, they are losing some of their popularity.
The tool that has proved vital in growing the success of SMEs is the website. A website is inexpensive to build, easy to organise and easy for customers to access. The most important thing for your website is to have an adequate online presence. Websites help anchor your small business in the way that you can give customers a better insight into what your business offers with demonstrations etc. Also giving ideation i.e. using simulation tools and co-design tools which will help you to create a clearer image for your business. These aesthetic aspects of a website are becoming increasingly important in today’s digital business environment.
Ensuring scalability involves taking into account growth and expansion of your audience within your target market, for example a new product coming out and increasing traffic to your website. Simply by having static content served outside of the network will help with efficiency, speed and will boost performance. This is also safe and it is compatible with every type of web-server technology, however with the static content you need to make sure your website is republished when changed otherwise your customers will not be able to view it. Doing this will also strengthen your own server’s scalability, making it faster and less congested.
Disaster recovery plans
Does your business have an effective back up system? Creating a website is a great idea but it does come with some risks; regular maintenance which will temporarily bring your website offline, or it may even receive attacks from viruses. Having a backup plan will enable you to make sure if a disaster did happen then there is a secure solution.
If you’re looking to work on some areas of your website, it might be a good idea to take it offline for the time being. It can be frustrating for customers to see that your website is down when they try to access it – and after all, the quality of your online presence is going to reflect on your business image. If your customers frequently rely on your website for services, you will need to ensure that you are causing the least amount of convenience – you can do this by completing the work during time periods where you think your website sees less traffic, or warning your customers in advance. Put plans in place so that if you do need to work on your website, you have the option to take it offline. Many website building software solutions will facilitate this option for you as a standard feature.
However, having a disaster recovery plan doesn't just apply to your website maintenance. You will also see a huge variety of tools with their sole purpose being backing up your data securely and making it readily available to you when you need it most. Companies such as www.mega.nz or www.idrive.com are great options and we have found them to work very well.
If you would like any further information on what you need to know about going digital, please feel free to get in touch by sending us an email on.