Running your own business is a process fraught with trials, hiccups, and the unknown. It affords you wonderful benefits like being your own boss. It also means that you’ve likely spent more than your fair share of late nights making sure things get done.
Now that your business is expanding, you can’t do it alone. You have a team; let them help your business grow. That doesn’t mean that you won’t still find ways to spend every waking hour taking care of the company. We just want to make sure that you do so by choice instead of necessity.
What keeps you up at night? It’s critical to your success that you stay connected to your ever-growing customer base. Without them, you’re nothing. You need to ensure you have the right information at the right time to guide your company efforts in the right direction. It’s hard to chase everything or you can end up catching nothing. And, that team we mentioned – how can you streamlining their workload to allow them to spend more time with your customers? With these things in mind, here are five ways you can do more for your business in less time.
1. Build relationships better. A big chunk of your time as a business owner goes toward making and developing relationships. That makes sense since your business contacts and customers are the lifeblood of your company. What we do suggest is finding a way to optimize your interactions with these important people. By having a single place where you and your team can view the status of your relationships, discover mutual friends and contacts, and store customer profiles, you’ll make sure nobody falls through the cracks.
2. Sell anywhere, anytime. From time to time, you and your sales team will have a chance to start a new relationship while on the go. By making use of the cloud, you can use your mobile device to create new customer profiles and personalize your new buyer’s experience wherever you are working. Your team can use the same cloud data on the fly to refresh their memories about key cost figures and existing customers—making stronger, better impressions anywhere they go.
3. Know what people are saying about you. You could easily employ a whole team of folks whose only job would be to keep up with all the buzz about your business on social media. A better option to catch up with the social media conversation quicker is to use social listening technology and free your team to handle their other responsibilities. When they check back in on the conversation, at-a-glance metrics will catch them up right away, even if they don’t speak the language your customers are chatting in.
4. Handle customer service like a pro. Large companies have entire departments dedicated to customer service. While you might not have room for that kind of staff in the budget, you can still help your team tackle customer service challenges like the pros. By implementing consistent processes within your organization AND using a tool to make the process visible to everyone, you’ll be able to keep all of your service issues organized and, more importantly, make the experience a pleasant one for your customers. Your team can efficiently respond to customers on their terms and through the communication channels of their choice.
5. Be in the know. Wouldn’t it be great to know where your successes are coming from and where you should be taking a different tack? Using dashboards and other tools to gain insights to the operation of your business – from sales to service to delivery – you can steer the ship the best direction for you and your organization. Are your sales guys closing things in a timely fashion? Are you having customer service issues surrounding one of your newly acquired products? Are you being successful with that marketing campaign we ran up north last month? Do I have the right customers? Answers lead to actions – but only if you have the information at your fingertips.
By making use of tools to help you with challenges like these, you’ll be able to manage the day-to-day of your business better and faster. What you do with your newfound time, of course, is up to you. As for me, I think I’d take up a new hobby. Golf isn’t too hard to master, right?
If you’d like to see some of the solutions we’ve just mentioned in action, check out how one of our customers makes it happen!
For more information on how Microsoft can help you grow your business, check us out.