24/7 ready, are you mad?! I know, I know, most small business owners already work long hours both in and on their business, and you are probably no different. I’m sure the thought of being contactable at all hours of the day or night is enough to make you want to put up the closed sign for good!
But if technology is the cause of this new ever available culture we live in, then can it also be the solution to being contactable by way of providing customer interaction without you needing to be available all the time?
More and more people are looking for opportunities to work flexibly and often remotely. From the sandwich generation who are caring for both young children and older relatives to the digital nomads.
This means that there is any number of opportunities to outsource tasks affordably, no matter what your niche is. From social media scheduling to bookkeeping.
You could outsource to a virtual assistant to manage your emails and set up automated responders to enquiries.
How about getting someone to monitor your social media channels in the evenings and engage with your audience?
Being able to outsource has never been easier with the help of technology. From email to cloud-based storage and online CRMs, you can work with anyone, anywhere.
Of course this is our favourite solution at Bookable. There are numerous solutions available now to streamline and automate business processes and workflows.
Identify what your small business needs and look for a solution that delivers and is cost-effective. You don’t necessarily need a shiny new expensive piece of software; you may just need to do something straight forward like link an online calendar to your website, allowing people to book appointments directly themselves.
Now, these get a bad rep, but in some instances, they can be a godsend to a small business. Don’t discount it as an option before you’ve done any research.
Call answering service
Want a real person to answer your phone but don’t have time to do that yourself? Look at using a call answering service. You often have a dedicated team allocated to you who will learn about your business and answer the phone appropriately, often being able to solve simple queries and make appointments for you.
Don’t really have the funds or scope to implement any significant technological saviours?
Utilise the humble FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions. You will probably find that most people have very similar queries. Head off answering all these individually by having an accessible area on your website that gives customers exactly the information they are looking for.
You can also back this up by creating more in-depth blog posts to help your audience understand your product and aid them in making a decision to buy.
Find more time
I know finding more time sounds like the elusive pot of gold to any small business owner. But, how efficient are you in reality?
Do you spend time on things that are outside your wheelhouse when it really would be much more useful to outsource so you can make more money speaking to new clients?
Are you typing the same email over and over instead of creating templates?
Are you randomly posting on social media and hoping to hit the right spot rather than creating a marketing and content plan that would mean your content connected first time?
Not implementing effective processes can really impact small business and leave you feeling burnt out in no time. Start here and free up some of your valuable time to make real savings immediately.
Less work not more
Being 24/7 ready is not about you doing more work but working more efficiently. Working smarter, not harder.
Be creative about how people can engage with your business and set expectations. It could be as simple as having an automated responder that lets them know someone will reply with the next 12 hours with links to a valuable part of your website. Know what your clients want and then use technology to create a business that meets their needs.
What tips do you have for being 24/7 ready?