I recently met a millennial, named Mark, who had decided to step into the world of small business. He decided to buy a packaging business off a retiring baby-boomer. While the company had seen many profitable years, recent economic conditions and a failure to keep up with digital marketing trends resulted in the business being worth a fraction of its value a decade ago. For Mark, this was an opportunity to purchase an existing customer base, enter into a market with a current shop and warehouse and enormous potential.
Mark estimated that taking on a digital marketing strategy and online sales would see a considerable increase in a local customer base and emerging trends like food trucks seemed like an opportunity to get the business back on-track within a small time-frame.
Here’s how we helped Mark resurrect a business that was heading in a downhill spiral.
Step one - Create a website
Today, if you have a business and no website, the business almost doesn’t exist. People and companies use the internet for most of the information they consume today, yet creating a website had been overlooked by the previous baby-boomer owner.
Benefits of having a website for business include cheap 24/7 advertising on an environmentally friendly platform, and an increase of customers and customer satisfaction through worldwide customers being able to access products and information conveniently.
Having a website for business is also an opportunity to prove credibility and secure long-term clients.
The site includes an interface, that catalogues the massive amount of products in the warehouse, and a fully automated system designed to allow for orders to be filled quickly and error-free. In turn, this allowed Mark to spend more time on the road canvassing, and with the combined efforts of their online strategy, orders came in at an ever-rising rate.
Step two - Update phone system
There were previously two long-standing employees who managed the accounts and the shop counter for wholesale and retail.
Whoever was free at the time answered the phone, manually entered the order and sent the slip to be picked. Once only a single phone-line, the phone would often ring as soon as one call ended, raising the question of how many calls and how much potential business was being missed?
The solution was to install a second phone-line with an on-hold option. While on-hold, customers are now informed on how to use the online ordering option. It also further reduced labour requirements, therefore allowing staff members to engage with customers and increase sales.
The changes had remarkable impacts. Never have I seen a business make such a turnaround in such a small amount of time. They were very simple changes through my eyes. As a millennial myself, I grew up with modern technology, and it just comes easy. However, I can understand, as the son of a baby boomer, that these things create a challenge and add complexity to an existing business.
We still see so many businesses that are slow to come up to speed with the simple yet effective solutions that today's technology can provide.
Adopting technology can seem daunting at first, so teaming up with real people who keep things simple is must.
Get in touch with the team at Techwell to find out how they can set your business up for success in an ever-changing environment.