Whether you are a sole trader, solo-entrepreneur or small business owner, the world of digital technology can be an ever-changing, fast-paced topic to keep up with.
There are many hundreds of thousands of small UK business owners that are so busy with their day to day struggles to make ends meet that they have very little to no time to keep abreast of what cutting-edge new technology may actually be of use to them.
More important things on their mind
What can be true for a lot of solo-entrepreneurs and small independents is that they are more concerned about their corporate clients taking three or more months to pay them than how strong a presence their business profile has on Facebook.
Modern technology is constantly changing and acting to disrupt businesses of all sizes. However, there still remain thousands of micro-businesses that don’t even have their own website or a profile on social media.
The truth is that for sole traders or individuals working on a solo business have no time for the digital world, or they lack the budget to make any serious inroads because they are ploughing their profits back into their business or just earning enough to make ends meet.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Having said that, many small business owners are very conscious that they may be missing out on the advantages of the digital revolution.
Even though you cannot afford to dedicate much time or energy towards branching out on a digital platform, there are some very simple ways to get your business started in the digital world without much investment.
Easy social media management
Where many giant corporations and large businesses can afford to have a whole department dedicated to building and maintaining their social media presence, there is an easy way for a solo-entrepreneur to get the same mileage with a fraction of the effort.
You can easily manage your social media accounts through Hootsuite. It can be useful to have at least a Facebook and LinkedIn business profile for your prospective customers or B2B clients to check out.
Studies show that prospective new customers or business partners will do a background check on a new company before deciding to trust them or not. This usually involves looking at their business website and their social media profiles.
If your business has neither, it will be harder to get people to trust you enough to either buy from you or to partner up with you for B2B trading.
Hootsuite makes it easy to bring all of your social media accounts together on one dashboard to manage and schedule posts and news updates. The strongest advantage is being able to schedule updates for the times when you are busy doing other things and are unable to post in person.
It would only need one hour of dedication one evening a week for you to schedule posts for the whole of the next week and to answer any questions left for you on your posts. What’s more – you can choose the free version of Hootsuite so you don’t even need to spend any of your hard-earned money to use it!
Get your business on Google Maps
This tip is of special importance to locally-based businesses that only serve their local community, such as a town bakery, cafe, clothes shop or operate locally-based services for plumbing, electrical services or domestic cleaning etc.
There are a staggering number of local businesses that are invisible on Google because they lack a business website. However, having a Google Maps listing will make them visible in a local search when someone is looking for local services or providers.
Google Maps will also list your website address (if you have one) and your contact details as well as any Google Reviews you have. This is why it is worth dipping your toe into the digital world to take advantage of these free tools to help more potential customers to discover your business.
With the advent of digital information, customer’s buying decisions are now very much based on trust. When looking up a company they are interested in buying from a potential customer will be more inclined to buy if the company has positive customer online reviews.
It is worth signing up for an account on Trustpilot and the process is very simple and quick to do. Once set up, you can simply ask your customers to leave you a review once they have completed their purchase or used your service. It is by far the quickest and simplest way to build up a positive online profile and build trust in your prospective customers.
Organise your emails with Mailchimp
In the same way that you can use Hootsuite to manage your social media scheduled posts, you can use MailChimp to organise and schedule your business emails and updates.
MailChimp has been around for years and offers both free and paid platforms for you to use. They have very good tutorials to help you set up your email contact list and to explain how you can set up and schedule easy email campaigns.
You can make great use of the functionality and tools available to help you organise your contacts into customer groups or B2B contacts, schedule emails and analyse useful analytic data about open rates and engagement.
You can get a free plan that manages up to 2000 subscribers so will be great for a sole trader or independent service provider.
Free CRM software
Staying on top of your organisation when you are busy can be difficult. You can make use of free CRM software such as HubSpot CRM to help you organise your diary and customers.
HubSpot CRM is particularly easy to learn how to use and is perfect for a small business owner as you can have up to 1,000,000 contacts, users, and storage without paying a penny for it.
You can keep track of what your staff are doing on one visible dashboard without the need for any individual chasing up or checking with your staff.
Reserve a Company Name
It is a known fact that the majority of prospective business customers prefer to buy from a company that they can trust.
When you form a limited company you will be officially registering your business with Companies House in London. This shows your potential customers that you are a genuine UK registered business and take your company seriously.
It gives your business a sense of accountability and transparency that will help customers trust your business with their money.
Even the smallest of business run by a solo-entrepreneur or independent operator can register their business and become the Director of their own company. The most cost-effective way to do this is to invest in the Digital Company Formation Pack that costs just £12.48 and includes all legal fees.
This pack is ideal for those who want to form a company without any additional extras, or who want to reserve a company name to prevent anyone else operating a business using your name or using your good business name for their own benefit.
By registering your company through Your Company Formations, we can take care of the process of the whole formation for you on your behalf.
Why not give our friendly customer service team a call on 0207 689 7888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help or information.