Lisa Durrett is Lead Marketing Communications Manager, Small Business at AT&T. You can find more blog content from Lisa and other experts on emerging technologies on the AT&T Networking Exchange Blog. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.
I’m in awe of my yoga instructor. She takes the word flexibility to a whole new level. This mother of five owns four yoga studios, manages a staff of instructors, has a blog that she updates daily, writes a fitness column for the local newspaper, and even has time to volunteer at her kids’ school.
I’m equally impressed by her ability to keep her classes consistently full. She always finds time to reach out to new customers, whether by responding to inquiries in between classes or posting offers to her website through her smartphone while on the treadmill. An expert multitasker? With today’s need for speed, entrepreneurs don’t really have much of a choice. Small business expert and entrepreneur Bill Rancic says it’s imperative to always take advantage of technology, so you are able to work smarter, not harder.
If you’re not as innately flexible as my yoga instructor, here’s how being fully connected in the wireless age can help you grow your business:
Respond to prospects anywhere. Yes, you can say you’ll carve out time to do nothing but respond to customer inquiries, but, the reality is, something always comes up. If you have a smartphone that allows you to easily monitor and respond to email, your social channels, and consumer review sites, you can get this off your to-do list while also better serving your customers. If you network your team’s devices wirelessly, you can share Internet access, files, printers, and more, which can help you to delegate some of these important tasks.
2. Engage with your customers in real time.
Content management systems have become more user-friendly in recent years. No longer do you need to spend days or weeks scheduling content changes in advance. Having the systems in place to make quick changes to your website or blog can give you a competitive edge, given all the conversations happening online in real time. Once you update your content, you can link to it through your social networks to alert your followers.
3. Maintain a nimble staff. Use online conferencing to schedule meetings on the fly.
A sporting goods retailer I know was launching a new e-commerce site. His team was spread out in three locations: one at the retail store, one at the IT consultant’s office, and one at home recovering from knee surgery! When a sudden glitch was discovered, he had to rally everyone quickly to fix the site before it launched. In cases like these, it can’t wait until everyone is back in the office. But it’s simple to add an online conferencing service to your suite of efficiency tools that could make all the difference when time is tight and resources are scattered.
4. Keep your website fresh to help improve SEO.
Free or low-cost web tools such as such as Google Analytics and Chartbeat enable you to get immediate reads on what terms are working for you and what your site visitors are doing. You’ll want to capitalize on this information as quickly as possible—even remotely. These services can help you track referral sources and update your website with content that you know your customers are searching for, so they’ll be able to find you faster. Refreshing your content can also help improve your ranking on the search engines.
What’s your top way to find customers when you’re on the go? Tell us your story.