SMBs should be using their data to drive business.
These days it is common knowledge that big data is a humongous resource for businesses, and with that it is also well known that large corporations are utilizing the data they collect, and even buy, to their advantage to market more effectively to consumers and achieve exponential growth.
But it hasn’t necessarily become common for the smaller business owners of America. For one, large corporations have a lot more resources and profits at their disposal then small businesses. Small business owners tend to be plagued with both limited time and limited resources… But that is not the only reason some businesses are not taking action, it is also partly perception of small companies that Big Data is reserved for Big Corporations.
It’s not that small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) do not recognize how important data is, it’s that they don’t know that they actually can afford to start collecting and analyzing it or how they can put it to use. They may feel like they do not have the technical experience on hand to analyze the information they are collecting or how to put it to use.
SMB owners know that overhead can be tight. Having access to important data and information can help to not only reduce ad costs but see a greater ROI. Following trends can help to easily show which campaigns are working and which are not so you can weed out non-performing marketing efforts.
You will want to be strategic about the data you collect and then how you use that data to create marketing. For example you may want to only market to a specific geographic location, or to customers with specific interests or buying habits.
The right kind of data can give business owners interesting insights into who your customers really are, where they are, help them to better know their actual market and not just the target market. It can also help them to see what to change in order to reach the ideal customers or target market.
The insight business owners get from watching consumer trends can also help to streamline operations, better manage inventory, forecast more accurately, and balance costs.
If you are just starting you will have a leg up on a business owner that has been running a business for many years but is only now trying to implement an effective data collection and management program. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be overwhelming for those long time business owners.
SMBs can begin using their own data affordably right now!
There has been a growing emergence of self service solutions giving businesses of all sizes the ability to gather insights and data through user friendly business intelligence tools and then leverage that information in their marketing endeavors. BI tools aim to collect information in an organized manner making data analytics more user friendly. By making the data more presentable to the layman businesses do not need an IT specialist on staff to interpret the information.
How can data analytics benefit the small business owner?
Armed with the knowledge of what is working and what isn’t and where the business is most profitable will help you to make better and faster decisions on how to maximize that area. Data can also help you see what customers don’t like. Where exactly are you losing them. When they do not complete a specific action on your website for instance, how can you change that so there is less friction and greater chance they will complete that action instead of jump from your website.
Once you have data at your disposal, how will you interpret that data? For example, knowing how much website traffic you are getting is really great. But knowing exactly which demographic the majority of your customers are coming from is awesome! And actionable. Because data won’t do you any good if the information is not actionable in some way.
Analyzing the various points of information will, in turn, help to steer you in the direction in which ways you should put it to use.
Business owners only need to decide to start putting their data to use to begin. From there you can start as big or small as you need to fit in with your budget. To start small, you can begin right away using a free tool already at your disposal. Begin extrapolating information immediately using Google Analytics, a free digital analytics platform, on your current website to track visitor behavior such as where your traffic comes from and how long consumers linger on a specific page, topic or item. Google Analytics also allows you to track the traffic you receive through your social media outlets revealing which campaigns are working and which are not.
If you are ready to dive in a bit deeper, then it is time to look into some of the new self service Business Intelligence software on the market today and decide which is right for your business model. Many cloud based POS systems enable business owners to access information from anywhere they are when they need to. They also conveniently organize your data making it easy to quickly sift through and take actions on only the data needed at the time. Cloud based systems also tend to be scalable allowing you to enhance features as your business grows.
When you base business decisions on the available data you are able to make smarter choices with confidence rather than just a shot in the dark. We are not here only to sell you a merchant account. We are here to help in your success as a business and that means leveraging the information that you collect every time a customer walks through your door (even your virtual door). We have many options for integrating with your gateway, point of sale, and/or current software. Whether you are looking for a CRM, POS, or other data analytics software, or already have one, call Bankcard Brokers today to integrate our cutting payments solutions for a complete recipe for success.