You run your own business, so you’re no doubt a self-starter. You know that you can acquire and maintain relationships with customers, no matter what your business provides. However, there are various online tools and technologies that can make these activities easier, more streamlined, and more lucrative for your business. For instance, social media has never been more important in marketing efforts, and small-business owners like yourself need to know how to use these kinds of platforms.
Let’s take a look at some of the online technologies that you should consider in your solopreneurship adventure:
Marketing automation and customer relationship management software
When you start to acquire customers, an address book and pen (or computer-based spreadsheet) might be good enough for starters. But as your business grows and you need to keep a better track of your steadily lengthening list of clients, putting the information in a marketing automation tool or customer relationship management (CRM) application can make a huge difference.
Marketing tools can help you tailor your promotion efforts across multiple platforms and can improve your reach. This kind of technology can help you capture leads, develop relationships, and maintain contact with the clients you have worked so hard to get. These tools have email, social media, and web marketing functions included, so you can see where your entire advertising budget is going with a single screen. Using one tool for all of these functions allows you to provide your customers with a consistent experience, no matter where they are in the funnel.
CRM applications also help you improve and deepen client relationships. Keep track of your customer through their journey of interacting with your business — for instance, if someone engaged with you once but didn’t follow through on buying your product, you can log that in a CRM and contact them later to ask about their status.
Data modeling tools
One thing you will no doubt accumulate a lot of as your business continues to thrive: data. Customer information, sales information, invoices, tax returns — the list goes on. Do you know what to do with all that data, or how to use the information to your advantage? This is where data modeling tools come in.
Analytics is key to maintaining your business and knowing where to spend your advertising dollars. Sites like Google Analytics and AWStats help you determine things like where folks are going on your site, what pages they’re spending the most time on, and what site referred them to yours. This information helps you find new customers, increase retention, improve service, and expand marketing efforts — but you need to be able to see the data in order to drill down into it. Data modeling tools like Tableau, which allows you to create charts and graphs of the pertinent information, provide that insight.
Online business and tax forms
When starting a new business, you should consider forming an LLC. There are numerous benefits of forming an LLC, including limited liability and less paperwork in filing. There are also distinct tax advantages, like the fact that the owner of an LLC doesn’t have to file a corporate tax return — you would simply note profit and loss on your individual return. In other words, the business doesn’t pay taxes, just you.
What’s more, you can file all the paperwork online to get started with your LLC. One caveat: Make sure you check the rules for filling and running LLCs in your state, as various states have different regulations.
Bring it all together with data
One thing that tax forms, CRM tools, and data science models have in common is information. Any successful business uses data to sculpt a customer acquisition and retention strategy, and solopreneurs can benefit immensely from that kind of insight.
Are you ready to take your small business to the next level and use your data to create significant returns? Check the free data science resources and the EvidenceN.com blog to learn even more about collecting, using, and displaying data to your business’ benefit.