October 11th, 2011 Archive

Make Technology Work for You

October 11th, 2011 by Adaire in Sharing Success

Liz and Ric run several websites and business ventures, such as Healthy Wealth nWise, Done for You Solutions, among other things. Some may think that they have a large company that keeps all these endeavors running, but this isn’t the case. What they actually did was to combine a small core team and technology, which allows them to manage those ventures as well as other projects…like this blog! :)

There are several ways they use technology to their advantage, and it’s kind of difficult for me to relay and enumerate all these different ways. Fortunately, I found some help in the form of a Small Business CEO Magazine article called How to Make Technology Work for Your Small Business, by Chris Haycox. Chris doesn’t cover everything that Liz and Ric do, but I think he highlights some of the best ways to harness technology to help your own business. :)

Keep Operations Lean and Cost Effective
One of the great things about Internet Marketing is that you can work from home, from another country, or from wherever you want. Liz, Ric, and I often talk about how this allows us to spend more time with ourselves and our loved ones, but one benefit that is often overlooked is the reduction in costs.

With a laptop, a comfortable chair, a decent connection, and maybe a cell phone, we can set up shop anywhere. None of us need to spend huge amounts of money on rent; we can spend our funds on more important things instead! :)

Use the Virtual Environment to Employ Staff
Liz and Ric have been able to outsource almost everything their company needs to awesome people around the world. So much so that they started their own outsourcing company to help other people do it to at Done For You Solutions. How? “Thanks to technology,” Chris explains, “there is now a wealth of expertise available online.”

What Chris is talking about here is how you can easily hire virtual assistants to get a lot of your tasks done. There are just so many things that a VA can do for you, as illustrated by two other articles on Small Business CEO Magazine.

In 6 SEM Tasks to Outsource To a Virtual Assistant, Sherri Homen points out that VAs are able to do tasks that help with your search engine marketing (SEM endeavors, such as keyword research, link building, and even submit your articles, press releases, and videos to various websites for you.

According to Linda Siniscal’s 5 Tasks a Virtual Assistant Can Do For a Business or Executive Coach, though, there are even more things that a virtual assistant can do for you aside from completing SEM tasks. They can provide bookkeeping services to help you with your invoices and creating financial reports, and they can even create and disseminate an eNewsletter for your customers and clients.

Liz and Ric have employed virtual assistants since what feels like forever to handle pretty much all the tasks that their core team can’t handle. Sometimes I’m amazed how much work they get done thanks to the combination of their efforts and their VAs’! :)

Chris also explains that “you can also use a variety of different people depending on what you need at the time.” Do you need somebody to make sales calls? Or do you need someone to re-design your website? You don’t need to keep one on staff. Hiring experts per project gives you the expertise you need without putting too much of a strain on your finances.

Keep Telecommunications Costs to a Minimum
“A few years back,” Chris says, “it used to be necessary to have two or three lines for fax machines and credit card machines.” Now, most of your communication needs can be handled online. Mind you, emails and web sites aren’t your only options. There are several sites that allow you to send and receive faxes, process credit card payments, and do several other tasks. Even voice calls are available online, thanks to Skype, Google Talk and other online messaging software! :)

Use Online Marketing Avenues
Blogging and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter allow you to reach a worldwide audience with minimal costs. Doing so using traditional media would cost way too much for any small business, but online tools allow even small businesses to go global.

Going in the other direction, marketing online can also allow businesses to target very specific niches or locales. By advertising specifically to your target market, you can maximize your marketing dollars. :)

Can you think of other ways to use technology to help your business? Please share your own tips in the comments below! :)

Until next time,
Adaire


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