Ditch the Duct Tape: A Digital Transformation Guide for Small Business Owners

Website here. Email marketing there. Online store elsewhere. CRM nowhere. Many businesses fall into the trap of signing up for individual tools instead of building a foundation for their business leaving them frustrated and always duct taping on another tool into the mix. The promise of instant results usually ends up leaving the business owner with disjointed systems, not having an accurate picture, and spending way more when you add up all the payments and fees.

You wouldn't build a house by putting up the roof without the walls and you wouldn't live in a house without a roof.

Here is our guide for how a small business owner should look at their digitization, the key to success being a holistic digital strategy. Let's get technology working for you by focusing on the following features your digital solution should provide:

The Foundation: Your website

Potential customers will be searching for a product or service you provide, and they should be able to find those easily on your website. In addition to clearly communicating your value proposition and establishing your brand here are a couple of must-haves:

  1. User-friendly, keep it simple and usually part of a web design process
  2. Mobile-responsive, meaning it looks great on all devices
  3. Clear and concise information: Who are you? What do you do? Make this information easy to find.
  4. Call to actions, guide your visitors to what you want them to do next, whether it's contacting you or making a purchase.

Not sure how your current website stacks up? Get a free consultation from us to get our opinion.

The Walls: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your CRM will become your secret weapon for organization and customer service. It acts as a central hub for all your customer data, streamlining communication and nurturing leads. Here's what a CRM can do:

  1. Customer information, historical data easily accessible in one place.
  2. Leads, track potential customers and prioritize opportunities.
  3. Automate tasks, send follow-up emails and, if applicable, schedule appointments

Chat to one of our experts on how a CRM can help your business.

The Roof: E-commerce

Not just for businesses selling products online, accepting online payments will simplify your operations even further. Service based business can also use online payments by issuing invoices online and sending them by email to a customer. Accepting payments should integrate with your CRM for a smooth customer experience. When accepting payments online there are a few items to take into account.

  1. Secure payment processing, this is mandatory
  2. Multiple payment options, issue one invoice and allow your customer to pay by credit card, cheque or Paypal
  3. Business insights, get a real time view of how you are performing financially
  4. Transaction fees, understand the real cost of how much you are paying per transaction - the average being 2.9% + $0.3 - meaning for every $100 you get $96.80

As a certified Elavon partner we offer secure credit card processing - let's chat today.

Curb Appeal: Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Once your foundation, walls and roof are in place, it's time to attract potential customers through a well-defined digital marketing strategy.  Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Strategy, the master document which will define your tone, messaging and other criteria
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO), ensure your target audience can find you
  3. Content marketing, create valuable and informative content to engage your audience and establish yourself as an expert
  4. Social media marketing, build a back and forth relationship with your customers
  5. Email marketing, your CRM shines here as it helps you target a segment of your customer base for communications

Book a free consultation with our marketing wizard to see how we can help.

Your Digital Transformation

Going digital doesn't have to be overwhelming, nor does it require you to become a rocket scientist. Start by identifying areas which are a pain, or you do over and over, which become a list of areas for digitization. Your transformation should leave you with a strong website, a CRM which helps you, e-commerce and a digital strategy - to attract visitors and turn them into loyal customers.

You can certainly do-it-yourself (DIY) but be aware you will trade the time where you are learning and implementing over the time where you do what you are great at. If you prefer to have an expert guide we would be happy to cover what Digital Essentials will provide you and how it can help.

Remember, a successful digitization requires adjustments and fine tuning. Regular updates to your website and social media channels, analyzing your marketing data, and adapting your approach based on what's working and what isn't.

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