Running an Efficient Retail Business Even While You Sleep
Starting a business today, in 2016, involves a lot more than it did ten years ago. Ten years ago, no one had to worry about getting traction on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social media platform. That time, a website for your business was a luxury, not the necessary evil it is now. As a business owner, what you had to focus on was keeping your current customers and employees happy, and maybe printing fliers to attract new ones. This used to be enough to increase sales.
Today, it’s an entirely different ballgame. Not only do you have to get potential customers to notice your brand online, you also have to work on new ways to motivate your employees so they can come up with new strategies that enhance your business operations. Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is.
But running a business doesn’t have to be a journey through hell. Here are five tools you can use as a small business owner to enhance productivity, attract and keep customers, and keep employees happy.
Buffer it on social media even when you’re offline
Social media is one of the most affordable ways to get the word out about your business to a large and diverse group of people. But who has time to post updates on as many as three channels more than twice daily? That’s where Buffer can help. Buffer is like your social media assistant that helps you run virtual errands -- like posting new updates to your business social media accounts at certain times. You can “load up” Buffer with Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn updates, and schedule them to post at different times of the day (or night) depending on the times your target audience is most active. Buffer also has an analytics tool so you can check engagement on your updates.
Manage send customers content with Mailchimp
Sometimes, you want to send out special information to your existing customers or subscribers without having to upload to your website first -- maybe festive season greetings or exclusive special offers. Mailchimp allows you do that.
Mailchimp is great for small businesses because it is super easy to navigate and free for the first 2,000 subscribers to your newsletter. With Mailchimp, you get to choose what you want subscribers to read from your brand. Even better, you can also track engagement with your them. That way, you can figure out what content they like the most and create more of it.
Collaborate with your team using Slack
Got more than one store in different locations? Slack can help you manage communication between your team in different places. With Slack you don’t have to deal with an overflowing email inbox; instead, you can you stay organized by streamlining communication. You can chat with team members individually to pass specific messages or collectively to discuss matters that everyone needs to chip in on. Slack also integrates with other software to give you and your team a robust experience.
Manage multiple projects with Trello
Want to visually see the state of multiple projects? Trello might be the tool for you. Upgrade from regular to-do lists to creating boards and mini-tasks needed to successfully carry out projects -- be it store rebrands, new stock requests or customer loyalty programs. With Trello, your team can see their responsibilities (and everyone else’s) and everyone is carried along as the project progresses.
Automate it with Prognostore
With Prognostore, running your business becomes easier and seamless. Prognostore is a point-of-sales software specifically developed to cater for your needs as a small business owner. With our three-in-one system, you can keep track of your stock and sales, and get analytics and reports that matter. Our cloud based software is so easy to setup and manage, you can do it yourself (or we can help too, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
What other apps and tools do you use to increase productivity and make running your business a lot easier? We’d love to hear about them! Sound off in the comments.
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