A facilitator called the internet is rapidly breaking down every imaginable barrier to prosperity and growth, transforming how the world conducts business. From the moment you create a Facebook account, blog or website, your point of contact with your customers becomes global. Using technology, especially social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, combined with the popularity of smartphones and tablets, makes locating opportunities in the global arena a breeze for all business executives and owners.
As a result, the advancements in technology help business owners create opportunities – instead of just looking for them – and launch completely new enterprises in a heartbeat based on unmet interests and needs of customers. In theory, you no longer have to operate in a vacuum, because social networks are extending your connection rapidly and increasing your ability to identify more opportunities worldwide. Here are a few ways you can utilize the internet to take your small local business global.
Reach a Global Audience on Social Media
It is a well-established fact that social media can and does bring people from the farthest corners of the world together in an instant. Its ability to transcend borders is what makes it a phenomenal tool for your business. Fortunately, social media marketing is also one of the fastest and most price-effective methods of connecting businesses to potential and current customers.
In addition, you can use social media to find out what customers think of your business, build stronger relationships and you don’t need to have high-level skills or equipment to reach your audience. Use the power of tools like Social Media Daily to promote your business to particular groups of potential customers based on location, interests and even age.
Save to the Cloud
Using cloud services to share files makes it easy to collaborate with your employees based anywhere in the world. Having your own server is an optional requirement, but many businesses prefer renting servers from dedicated services that take care of maintenance and any issues likely to pop up. Access to the online drive on the server is possible from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection; and you can drag and drop files anywhere, from Toronto to San Francisco, Brazil to Poland.
There’s Always an App for That
The next logical step after enabling your employees to share files is managing workflow for employees in different time zones. Workflow apps allow you to track when work is complete, sending daily team emails, translation services and international trading references that make collaboration across borders that much easier. To create effective workflows, you need to determine what processes are required, who does them, how the different processes are connected, where the processes can be improved and how any inefficiencies in the system can be automated; sleek and slick workflows will reduce waste and prepare your business for bigger and better things.
Use Internet Phones
The biggest internet communication limitation is bandwidth – not the distance. Using services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will help bring your employees, from across the world, into your conference room, as long as both parties have sufficient internet capabilities. With gathering more customers, file sharing and workflow management have taken care of, the next thing you require is actual interaction.
Strides made in internet telecommuting and teleconferencing have enabled an easy connection with different teams and customers spread out all over the world at a moment’s notice. A strategy that is increasingly popular with international businesses is leaving an open connection on in the conference room and remote employees can simply hook in and interact with passersby.