For a long time in the business industry, small businesses have missed out on the opportunities that are available to the bigger companies due to a much smaller budget.
Feeling undervalued and sometimes discriminated against, as a small business it can be hard to prove your worth when there’s very little out there to help give you a boost.
But the business world has been rocked, and a new playing field is now upon us, opening the doors for smaller businesses to finally take advantage of the tools that have for so long held them back from a brighter future.
Thanks to the innovations in Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM), the addition of the Cloud now enables companies of all sizes to compete in the same market.
For any business, Customers are the bread and butter of all that they do, and all that they strive to achieve, so creating a platform in which any business can utilise the system to stay connected with their customers is a push in the right direction, not only to help build relationships but also to better them.
Managing potential leads and retaining new customers is a difficult task enough when you’re business isn’t equipped to cope with such intense demands, but streamlining these needs into one complete package can bring much success to the way your business moves forward.
As detailed in this report there are over 5.2 million small businesses here in the UK alone, and this number continues to grow. Setting yourself apart from the others can be a daunting task without the right tools at your disposal.
Before the cloud came along CRM systems cost a hefty figure that only those with money to spare could afford. For small businesses it was simply a cost that could be better spent elsewhere, and an investment that could often not be justified.
Having such a huge sum to hand would be a luxury for start-ups let alone something they could so willingly hand over in an instant.
Realising that they were alienating the vast majority of small businesses the big brands in CRM such as Sage have created cloud-based systems such as this one that offer a more affordable option of low monthly subscriptions.
Any financial costs take a lot of consideration especially when it comes down to marketing budgets, but small businesses can now tap into the benefits of CRM with a fee that is more manageable.
Having this option open gives you an idea of the true ROI of the system.
With limited resources as a small business it can be difficult to optimise the productivity of your staff. But CRM is about managing your contacts in a more effective way, enabling all of your staff to manage their time accordingly for each customer or lead.
As the system is cloud based everyone can access the information and be kept up to date with any changes.
Where with old CRM systems implementation would often takes days or even weeks to install onto each individual device, now that it’s all on the internet, it’s a simple installation with a login.
It may seem like such a simple element, but when time is money, it’s a process that can mean improved business.
If you’re a small business with a sales team or representatives that have to travel, Cloud CRM can be accessed anywhere at any time, meaning none of your team can be out of the loop.
Most systems have user-friendly Apps for iPhones and Androids so that even when out of the office, real time updates can come through and keep them updated with any customer interaction or new leads gained.
Having a fluent dialogue between both the office and field based representatives will ensure clear communication on all matters, and no frustrations later on down the line when things get missed.
Your customer database is the back bone of your business, and it’s something that as a small business you need protection on.
When you rely so heavily on your CRM it’s essential that should the worst happen, it’s backed up securely for you to retrieve at any moment.
Having all the hard work and effort you’ve put in to disappear due to an IT glitch is simply something that should never be considered.
Cutting the risk of such issues Cloud CRM is hosted and backed up daily on a server that is separate from your own business software.
At the end of the day you know that your customers are the pathway to your success, and if they are lost it would be a case of starting all over again.
Managing your customers is one thing, but following your marketing strategies from start to finish is a benefit that can help you cut costs and understand the elements of your campaigns that are really working for you.
Many small businesses have incredible marketing strategies that combine both traditional advertising and modern digital mix. But when you’re investing in this approach you have to know if you’re investment is bringing in the business.
CRM systems can now report on many marketing methods including social and email, which means no matter the campaign you can track it’s progress quite easily without having to sit in front of large data sources.
Small businesses often believe that it’s all about acquiring new business but in fact building stronger relationships with existing customers with tools such as CRM can increase business profitability more than new leads.
After all, they know about your business, and if you’ve got it right, you know what they like and how to keep them coming back.
In business there is no such thing as one size fits all, which is why when you look into a CRM system you need to know what you want to achieve from it, and how you want it to improve your business.
From starting off small to growing quickly, the packages now available to small businesses ensures that the system doesn’t out grow your needs.
Most products are designed to cope with growth through a simple upgrade to meet your future needs, so don’t feel like you have to hold back.
Just when you thought that as a small business you’d have to struggle on your own, Cloud CRM brings you the flexibility and management that’s so desperately needed in the early stages of business.
In essence, CRM focuses on customer relationships, and the best relationships will help you to succeed no matter your size.