How To Use The Digital World More In Business

The world is becoming more and more digital, and you will probably find yourself experiencing this in your own life as well as in your business. It seems that no matter what you want to do, there will be a digital element to it.

For many, this means their experience of the world has changed, and their expectations of what can be achieved have also shifted. Things that were once impossible now seem commonplace, and if you are a business owner, this can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s exciting to know there are many choices you can make and a lot you can do with your business in a digital sense to make it stand out in a crowd, but it can also be challenging to try to keep up to date with new technology and ensure that the digital advancements you have just invested in won’t be usurped in a few months’ time.

It’s not always possible to know this, and sometimes digital aspects of business have to be taken on faith. Yet there are some elements that you can be sure will be a good investment both in terms of your time and your money. With that in mind, read on to find out how to use the digital world more in business so you can keep your customers happy and ensure you are noticed by the right people for the right reasons.

Outsource Virtually

Any good business owner who understands that they want to grow their business and may need to spend money doing so will know the benefits of outsourcing some processes. By outsourcing those things you don’t have the skillset for or would otherwise have to hire full-time employees to do, you can save time and money and ensure your business runs well and is as successful as possible. This is a great idea, but did you know you can outsource to virtual helpers?

Perhaps the most well-known of these virtual outsourcing partners is a virtual assistant or VA. However, there are many other options, and it could be that a virtual accountant is the right choice for you. Accounting can be one of the hardest parts of a business, and it’s crucial to get it right. As Mike Savage of New Canaan says, virtual accounting is something that no business should be without (Mike Savage New Canaan is a leader in virtual accounting services, for context).

So, what could you outsource, and how could you do so digitally? Make a list of all the things you need someone else to help you with, and then explore the different options. It’s likely you’ll find a digital way to get the work done.

Create An Online Portfolio

Suppose you run a business that involves carrying out a service such as decorating, baking cakes, writing articles, gardening, or really anything else where you can show off a finished result and where potential customers will certainly want to see that result. In that case, having a portfolio of your work is crucial. This will be your proof that you can do what you are promising you can do. It will also help customers make their own decisions about what they might want from you, helping the process go a lot more smoothly.

In the past, business owners might have put together a physical book of their work that they had to carry about from appointment to appointment. Over time, this heavy book would become battered and dog-eared, and it would not look impressive enough to sell the service it was meant to sell. It might even have begun to put customers off. This would mean having to start all over again, taking time and effort to make a new portfolio.

Today this physical book is not needed. Today you can create a digital portfolio, and there will be an app or website that you can search for that will be dedicated to exactly your industry. In most cases, you’ll be able to find a template and simply fill it in before publishing the portfolio for all to see.

Once the digital portfolio is published, you can then add it to your website, for example. You can also email it to potential customers so that they can see precisely what it is you can do. If you visit them in person and want to look through it with them, you can do that too; just take a tablet with you and show them digitally. It will show you are an up-to-date business and it will make the customer feel more at ease using you.

Use Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) technology gives you the option of creating a fully immersive experience for any client to utilize. Again, if you are working in the service industry, you can use this technology to your advantage by creating a world where customers can log in and see the finished results of whatever work you want to do for them would be. This will help them make a purchasing decision more easily because there is no ambiguity about what you might do for them and how it will turn out.

Plus, giving them a VR display to look at will make them understand you are serious about your business and are dedicated to keeping it as relevant as possible, something that will help them trust that you’ll do a good job and be around for a while yet.

Of course, not all businesses will be able to benefit from VR technology in quite the same way, but even if you run a store or restaurant, you might be able to find a way to include it. Perhaps you could have a virtual assistant to help customers try on clothes, or maybe there will be a virtual group of musicians playing in the restaurant; the choices are endless once you start thinking.

Create An App

How many apps do you have set up on your smartphone or tablet? Once you count them all, the answer could surprise you; people use apps for many different processes, from ordering food to banking and plenty in between.

Would it benefit your business and your customers (and maybe also your employees) to create an app? This would certainly allow you to enter the digital age easily and ensure you are ahead of your competition. After all, an app is meant to make things easier for people, and if you can make buying from your business easier, that’s where people are going to choose to spend their money – convenience is one of the top priorities of most customers these days. People are busy, and even if it only saves a few seconds, using an app is often preferable to going online to a website and certainly better than using the phone.

You don’t have to understand apps and computing or coding to create something that will be beneficial to your customers. This is another area you can outsource, and even if you don’t have any ideas, if you choose the right company to help you, you might find they can do everything from coming up with the concept for the app to creating it. However, if you want to stay entirely in control, it’s better to have some ideas about what you want the app to do. Start by thinking about the apps you personally use; what makes you like them? How do they help you? What could be improved? Armed with this information, it will be easier to create an app that does something rather than one that people download and then forget about or delete a short while later.

Have An Online Booking System

The idea of having an online booking system can be connected to the idea of having an app – you can combine the two things. Or, if you don’t want an app or prefer to keep this idea separate because the app is going to be used for something else, it’s a good idea to have an online booking system for your business.

If you go to see customers in their homes or they come to you to eat or speak to experts in your business, you’ll need to be organized. You can’t miss appointments or be surprised when someone arrives because you weren’t expecting them; this will be bad for business, and it could be that, because you’re not prepared, you can’t actually help the person who has come to you in the first place.

Having an online booking system that everyone has to use is a great idea, although the key is to keep it up to date, and as soon as there are any times you know you need to pencil in, add them to the system so no one can double-book them. In this way, you’ll always know what’s happening, and customers can book an appointment that suits them with confidence. The last thing you’ll want to have to do is contact that customer to change the appointment because you double-booked or forgot you couldn’t make that date or time.
With an online booking system, you need to keep things as simple as possible, and people will be more likely to complete the form and trust that you’ll arrive or be ready for them when they come to you.

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