Big Data Can be Helpful for Small Businesses Too

,
big data

Innovative ways to gather and analyze big data has been a driving force behind business technology in recent years. The phrase has gained some negative press when companies like Facebook collect and use data in an illegal or shady way, but when done right, knowing how to use big data can be a game changer for businesses. Not just big business either. You may not realize it, but your small business likely already has mountains of data waiting to be aggregated and analyzed.

What is “Big Data?”

The idea of “big data” is gathering a lot of information on your business and it’s target customers. Then, you can use this data to look for trends, find flaws, identify gaps in your services, and so much more to run your business better. For example, one popular way to use big data is with your CRM. If you collected all of the data on the path your leads take before they convert to customers, you could develop a stream-lined process that could greatly increase the likelihood of closing the sale. Maybe you find that customers that are reached out to within a week of an initial sales meeting convert at a much higher rate than those contacted two weeks after, or maybe you find that customers who see a sale person in-person spend 25% more than those contacted over the phone. Looking for and finding trends like this can be a game changer.

Where Do I Get this Data?

The good news is – you likely have already collected a lot of data you can begin to analyze. Your CRM, ordering platform (if that applies), Google Analytics account, email service, etc. already hold a lot of data waiting to be examined.

By diving deeper into the platforms your business already uses, you can pull reports and start identifying trends in no-time. Many of these services likely already have report features built in. If not, reaching out to the provider to request bulk exports of your data is another option. Once you decide on the KPIs you are looking for, use a program like Excel to help you analyze and display this data in a meaningful way.

Identify Problems

With the help of big data, finding flaws in your sales process or on your website just got a whole lot easier. Look for things like common stages where leads tend to drop off and focus on fixing that stage of the process. On your website or in other marketing efforts, look for landing pages or ads that have worse success rates than others and stop sending traffic there until you can improve them. In a perfect world, customers would tell you “oh I liked your ad but then I got to the landing page and format was just unreadable, that’s why I left your website and didn’t convert.” That doesn’t happen though, so use big data to find those problems you likely never even realized existed.

Optimize Work Flows

A stream-lined work flow is essential to lead nurturing. You may not realize it, but even if you don’t have a formal plan in place, you likely already use a work flow. Even just having a normal way you follow up with inquiries from potential customers is a work flow.

Use your CRM of email marketing tool (if you use one) to find those points where leads tend to fall off. Use the data to also find those extra touch points that seem to increase the likelihood of a conversion. Seek out these trends and incorporate them into a standard workflow you can use every time!

Big Data for Small Businesses

You don’t have to be a huge company to be able to gather and leverage data. Understanding the behavior of your potential customers and taking advantage of the trends you see will put you head and shoulders above your competition. Your small business may not always stay small, so paying attention big data now will help you scale and run your business in a much more efficient way.

Why to Let Your Employees Work Remotely

,
employees work remotely

Why is letting employees work remotely is a good practice to adopt? If you’re reading this, you’re probably a business owner/manager and are torn between letting employees work from home and requiring that they be in the office. While all businesses and situations are different, we’re going to give you all the information you need about working remotely to make the best decision for your employees and company.

Less Distractions

Working in an office with multiple people is often distracting. Someone sneezes or opens a noisy bag of chips and, all of a sudden, you’ve lost your train of thought. When working remotely, employees have full control over their environment, and the freedom to focus how he/she knows they can best. This increases productivity and ultimately ROI.

Increased Employee Happiness

Employees who work fully or partially remotely have reported increased happiness with both their company and the work they’re doing. There is a lot to be said from this. Why increased happiness? They spend less time doing the not-so-fun things that come with working in an office, like commuting and dealing with annoying coworkers, and more time doing the work they actually enjoy. Not to mention, no one likes to feel micro managed with their boss breathing down their neck and looking over their shoulder all the time. Working remotely means working in the style you know you are happiest with.

Less Time Off

Employees who work from home have been shown to take less time off of work for vacations and sick days. It’s much easier to work from home when you are feeling a bit under the weather instead of driving into an office and trying not to cough all over your coworkers. Not to mention, the risk of spreading office sicknesses is practically eliminated. One of the main reasons employees take time off is because they need a “break” from their work/workplace. When working from home, people don’t get exhausted from work as easily and will therefore need less time to “recover” with vacation time.

Working from home also means no “snow days.” If you are expecting weather, have employees either plan to work from home or prepare to be able to if need be. If you live in a location with harsh winters, setting employees up to work from home on snow days can make a big impact on productivity.

Better Talent

Have you ever run into the dilemma of searching for candidate resumes online and come across one that perfect for your open position, only to find out that they live across the country? When you introduce the ability to work remotely, you open the door to talent outside of your local area and have a wider selection to choose from. Don’t limit yourself to just local candidates.

There is Still Flexibility

When it comes to letting your employees work remotely, you don’t have to go all in right away. If you’re still unsure about the idea, start by letting them work from home one day a week and see how it goes. Plenty of companies offer partial remote work instead of fully remote positions and see the same benefits as stated above. It is completely dependent on your industry, business, and employees. Find what feels right for you.

It’s Easier Than Ever

Now that we know the benefits of letting employees work remotely, how can you make it possible? Cloud Colorado offers remote desktop services so your employees can work anywhere, from any device, at any time. No matter what device they log in on, their entire desktop will be waiting for them as though they were sitting in the office. With all the above benefits and now the means to facilitate the work, why not give it a go?