‘’The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business’’ Anonymous
All business owners can attest to the tremendous challenges they have faced since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We have witnessed many foreign owned companies exit Uganda and others close shop.
These are businesses which have stood the test of time. This signals a need to change business strategy. We must embrace technology and use all available resources to survive.
Rocket health Uganda that started as a small online business before the pandemic has tripled its profits in less than a year.
Small businesses need technology to thrive in this digital era. Not only does it automate the process, it provides new opportunities. Business owners get to enjoy internet marketing and its benefits. Technology promotes efficient management of business activities and improves interactions with customers. It automates routine processes like invoices and enhances remote working.
Technology has provided various cost-effective project management tools that business owners can utilize to boost business growth like;
This tool helps employers track the work of their employees without follow ups. When you insert the job and assign it to someone on your team, Trello alerts them to attempt the task. The employer also receives alerts when the task is completed or when the employee has faced a challenge. You can access Trello on all IOS and android devices.
A good follow up tool for companies just like Trello. It reminds you about tasks that need accomplishing and shows the employer which employee slacks on their job.
Zoom, Google meet and other video conference tools
These have since the pandemic become popular to encourage social distance and SOPs. You no longer have to travel far for a one hour meeting.
A free and highly secure video conference tool that can accommodate any number of participants, although not highly recognized in Uganda. Jitsi requires no registration. Organizations can also upload it on their servers to ease access for their staff.
Other technology tools that you can take advantage of like document creation and storage tools ease online business operations. For your business to survive today, you’ll need to generate a couple of documents. Consider the following as essentials to create and store bylaws, budgets, letters, and proposals among others.
If you want to do away with physical documents, Google Suit apps like Gmail, Google drive, Google docs and others can be utilized. You can buy storage to enhance your experience.
It protects your documents from theft and destruction. Simply scan the documents and save. You can also share with employees to upload their documents. The beauty about DropBox is that it is not email restricted like google drive. You can sign up for an account with any email address. It offers an option of purchasing extra storage at an affordable fee.
Online businesses need to utilize E-commerce tools to fully enjoy the benefits of internet marketing. In fact, every business should have an online platform to maximize opportunities and clientele. Websites, social media, WordPress and Square space empower you to do everything yourself from basic elements such as building homepages, implementing shopping carts to accepting payments. Understand your product and target audience to help you choose the right marketing tool.
A well designed logo, advertisement, piece of marketing content, or user experience delights your customers, ultimately boosting loyalty and generating more sales. Unleash your inner designer with free tools like Canva for generating posters and Snappa for graphic designs.
The latter requires payment to access better designs.
It is important to implement content and video creation tools for your online presence because of their efficiency. Apps like Animoto help you create free and unlimited videos for your social media marketing.
Lastly, businesses should employ tools like survey monkey, Google forms, and Review options on social media to encourage feedback from customers. Always research about your competitors and what they are doing. Identify opportunities and implement them.
Let’s conquer the business world together with technology.
The writer, Shakilah Nagujja is the Manager of the MUBS eLearning Centre, a lecturer, and a PhD student at Nelson Mandela University.