How to use technology to grow your business in 2018

With the New Year well underway, it’s time to take a look at your business and how you can give it a boost in 2018. Perhaps you’ve been considering hiring a business coach or even pondering something more drastic such as a name change and rebrand to give things a shake up?

But have you considered how you can use technology to grow your business this year? Even for those who aren’t confident using tech, it’s relatively simple to do. Here’s how:

Embrace social media

Still don’t have a business account on Instagram? Not engaging directly with customers on Twitter? You’re missing out on a lot of opportunity and so this is a way of using technology to grow another area of your business in 2018. People want to buy from a company that feels human, this is why businesses such as Target, Amazon and Netflix are doing well when it comes to popularity online. They actively engage and seek out conversation with those buying from them and use feedback on social media to shape their business.

Facebook Live is another important tool to consider incorporating into your business’s marketing plan, to improve future growth. Customers want to see what goes on behind the scenes or what you are getting up to when it comes to seasonal events. Show them how something is made in-house, have one of your experts answer live questions – use social media as a piece of innovative technology that can aid your growth.

Consider implementing ERP software

This innovative system is best for those who are running small businesses that need a little help when they want to move up to mid-sized levels. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software allows you to stay in control and manage everything in one place, including accounting, sales and marketing. However, some systems can feel overcomplicated so look around for software that is flexible and allows you to incorporate other important features such as payroll and inventories.

Cloud based hosting

Having a website is integral to any business, it means customers can find all the information they need about what you offer and where to contact you all in one place. Many businesses host their website on a shared server. However, these can have limitations. Not only are they bad for the environment, the servers themselves are massive machines that are held in data centres around the world.

Cloud based hosting means your website is hosted online – imagine it like Google Drive or Office365 – which allows for more storage space, with sometimes unlimited options depending on who you opt to work with. It’s the future of website building, as it protects the environment and breaks down restrictions.

AI and chatbots

It may still feel very futuristic but AI and chatbots are proving popular with large companies and are something to look into, ready for when they are less expensive to incorporate into your customer service offerings. AI will offer businesses a better understanding of their customers, what they want and how they think as it interacts with them and pulls together data on trends and predictions for the future. It’s an exciting piece of tech to look out for and think about in 2018.

Consider these innovative technological developments and how they can grow your business in 2018, then look into incorporating them into your plan for the year ahead.

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