If you’re the owner of an SMB, you’re used to wearing many, many hats, and you know how fierce the competition is. SMB’s often have little to no room for error, and productivity depends on hyper-smart time management and budget-friendly choices.
Inefficiency is the enemy of a small business and it can sink a ship shortly after setting sail.
The good news is the digital space constantly offers an ocean of tactics and tools developed for business owners who seek automated assistance. The bad news is you have to keep up on what’s out there, or your competitors will beat you to it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most recent advancements and how they can increase your brand’s effectiveness in 2017.
Better, Smarter, Faster Invoicing
The success of virtually any business relies on generating sales, earning revenue, and getting that money in the bank on time. But we’re all used to delayed or missing payments, and chasing down our clients for timely payments is not an efficient use of any manager’s time.
The best way to ensure prompt payments is to employ a digital invoicing system. Be aware that many of today’s solutions are clunky and inefficient, adding to complexity and stress rather than alleviating it.
That’s where services like Sighted become a lifesaver.
Sighted is a customizable invoicing software that allows business owners to streamline their expenses and revenue. The system enables users to tailor invoices to meet the needs of a project through product or service details, per hour, project, or product pricing, and various other personalized features.
The service also makes receiving payments a synch with integrated online payment options, a kaleidoscope of supported currencies, and even provides financial reporting information to help you understand where your money is allocated. With a top tier price of $9.00 per month, Sighted is a highly affordable option for SMBs.
Alternatively, if you would like an invoicing service that integrates checkout options, there’s MoonClerk.
MoonClerk also allows merchants to set up one-time or recurring payment invoices for clients, but this technology also enables SMB owners to link to checkout pages from nearly anywhere, including emails and Facebook.
MoonCleark even allows users to brand their checkout page with logos, fonts, colors, and more to ensure a consistent experience for consumers.
Greater Outreach and Relationship-Building Strategies
Contrary to what some people believe, email is still one of the most effective channels for generating leads and sales; email drove 25% of all sales on Black Friday 2015.
This year, approximately 225 billion emails will be sent each day; a 5% increase over 2016.
Part of the reason email is such a strong focus for business owners is that 72% of consumers state that email is their preferred method of communication with companies.
This means that there is massive potential for growth and failure among increasingly cluttered inboxes. To break through the noise, you’re going to need a stellar email solution. Enter: Mailshake.
This email provider helps to bolster a brand’s outreach and relationship-building efforts through customizable email templates that cater to efforts involving lead acquisition, link building, content promotion, and other business-centered tasks.
Mailshake also allows users to established automated follow up emails based on actions (or lack thereof) of recipients and also supports drip campaigns, real-time email alterations, and robust analytics so that you know how your efforts are performing.
Email is not the only avenue to build relationships or conduct outreach through, however, as content marketing plays a major role in both of these departments.
Despite its overabundance online, content is still one of the most effective ways to educate consumers, build trust, drive sales, increase SEO rankings, and reach other digital goals. But as a small business owner, you likely don’t have the time to create unique content on a regular basis.
To help streamline and amplify your content marketing efforts, there’s ClearVoice.
ClearVoice helps SMB operators to acquire unique and compelling content by simply uploading the details of the required materials and assigning it to a team member.
If you don’t have employees to handle content creation, it can be outsourced to one of 2,500 different freelance writers that ClearVoice matches with your content needs, creating a perfect pairing.
The ClearVoice marketplace can be leveraged to create anything from articles to infographics and freelancers can be paid through the system too.
The system also provides a bevy of content management tools such as collaborative editing features, publishing options, and a curated list of trending topics and stories so that you are never short on inspiration.
Amplified Social Media Engagement
Social media has become an essential marketing and communications tool for businesses of all sizes. The content that companies share helps to reach new audiences and build awareness. But as an SMB, there is a good chance that you don’t have the funds to generate unique materials for every social share. That’s where DrumUp saves the day.
DrumUp allows SMBs to access and schedule social shares from a curated list of the most relevant content. These effective creations can be posted across various social networks to help maintain consistency and engagement.
The service delivers content directly to a user’s dashboard based on the keywords entered and new feeds can be integrated so that you are sharing content from your favorite reputable sources.
DrumUp also suggests relevant hashtags to include in scheduled posts so that your updates reach the highest number of applicable readers.
In addition to content curation and social scheduling, DrumUp also features employee advocacy and gamification features like contests and leaderboards to help transform staff members into powerful conversion drivers.
SMB owners often have a hard time balancing all of the necessary management, marketing, and growth tasks needed to build a prosperous business. Let technology do the heavy lifting and boost your business’s efficiency and productivity by employing these proven, effective, and reliable tools.