Small businesses have different challenges that they have to overcome.
Not even saying what the pandemic issue brought to them. It has been hard times for small businesses even more, because most of them don’t event have the financial or human resources to counter the challenges that the lockdown brought.
It has been said since years, if you are not online, you don’t exist.
Now it has turn to be more real than ever.
Not being on the internet is a big mistakes nowadays.
Yes you might survive as a normal brick and mortar business, but if you really want to thrive and have a walk around to challenges that we are living now, you should consider to go digital.
Well, you don’t really have to invest a lot on many expensive equipment or software tools anymore, as it used to be years ago.
There are free online tools that help you to go online in just seconds.
If you are a local business, you can use different strategies to go online without spending a cent. You just need a laptop or just even your smartphone.
Taking a picture of your product or yourself doing your service would be a first step to digitize your business.
Don’t worry if it is not the most professional picture, improvement came overtime.
Start writing by your own the description of your product or services, because eventually this will be what it helps to inform your customers.
Now that you started with a simple product or service description and you can show it with a picture or video, just drop it online.
Where? As easy as using social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google Maps and Google My Business, there are different online platforms that let you create a free business page.
Of course, if you would like to have more visibility then you would have to invest on ads. But for starters you can start with the basics.
Customers like to see pictures, and of course they want to see the price. So don’t hesitate to show what you have to your market.
Social Media is a first and easy point to start interaction.
Attracting and generating that engagement is what eventually could help you to reach sales.
Of course there are bigger strategies for turning the business into a digital business, but as a small business with limited budget, human resources and time, you can take what you have available and build your way up.
If you want to eventually grow and have your own platform, then building up your website.
There are different websites that can help you with their services to create your own website.
Building up a website and maintain it is not easy, I have to tell. Building up a website is for people who will commit and will wait to have results. Of course if you push your website with social ads or Google ads, it would grow faster, but don’t expect to have a big business from one day to the other.
To have a SEO Local Rank for a small business is easier than a big business.
Small business have the local advantage. As if you were a sports team, you will have the local support.
Don’t be scared to compete against the big budgets, local businesses have on their core that people know your busines and people know they can relay easy on you.
Use that on your advantage as well on your Local SEO Strategy. Mix your free account of Google My Business and create content that is localized to your market.
In this way you can easily rank for search terms on your area and start to attract customers.
A Local SEO strategy is based on proximity, and Google would potentially show what is best for their users.
There are now available new softwre to control your inventory, to manage your expenses, you create your point of sales, generate your payrolls and even have more control of your taxes.
The ERP systems could help you to even automate and digitaze your business. The challenge of systems that are not on the cloud, is that the ERP system is based on just one computer.
The challenge of normal software licensing is that you had to pay more expensive software and install it in different computers. And you had to pay again for the license renewal.
But now for the digitalization of small businesses, there are existing new ERP on the Cloud, where you really don’t have to spend too much on infastructure and on renewals. You pay like a subscription method and you can access your information from any device that you want
In my experience, and having the challenges of a small business, here in Mexico I found Bind ERP, a cloud ERP system specialized for mexican and latin american businesses to hop on the cloud.
The good thing of using Bind ERP, was that as a small business I could create a digital inventory system to have a better control of my stock and at the same time to automatically synchronize with Shopify the online store of Muebleria Karina.
There are more sophisticated softwares that could help businesses, like Quickbooks, but I don’t have too much experience with other ERP for small businesses.
As a summary, follow the steps that I recommend you to start creating your digital business.
Grab your phone and take pictures of your business, products and services.
Create your social media profiles, even if you don’t want to invest on a website. Start posting your content.
If you want to be really digital, then buy your domain, hosting services, and start building your website with tools such as WordPress or Shopify.
And if you want to keep things forward, consider using ERP Cloud services that could give you that extra tool to really manage your business online.
Feel free to keep in touch if you want to exchange ideas.