Thursday, March 29, 2012

Implement Small Business Tips Discussed At 2012 SXSW Interactive

The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival was held in Austin, Texas, earlier this month. This is the event to attend to discover emerging technologies. Small business owners may not have the budget to do so, but they can still incorporate the tips and harness the trends discussed. A particularly relevant panel focused on the irrelevance of business size to success.

In this panel, experts noted that businesses need not be large to get ahead of the technology curve. Information communication technologies are making it possible for any business to work smarter. Even the smallest companies can leverage the power of Web-based, social, and mobile technologies for new and innovative prospect and customer interaction. This enables small, medium, and large businesses to compete for the same customer base.

Social media has transformed the information technology realm, making it possible for owners of a small work at home business to compete with major players. Localization is happening everywhere, making it necessary for large companies to increase their visibility and create a unique proposition in local marketplaces. Differentiators must be defined and drive the business, regardless of its size, because new customers are not won on price alone.

Companies of all sizes are finding that developing personal relationships with customers is critical. A customer can be the greatest influence on additional business. Businesses are now hiring customers to be their sales team and giving them seats on the board. Companies that find it inexpensive to acquire new customers are focusing on retention and building loyalty.

An interesting role reversal is taking place between businesses of small and medium size and those that are large enterprises. While the small and medium companies are becoming more quantitative and ubiquitous, enterprises are finding themselves taking a qualitative and personalized approach. These changing dynamics present many opportunities for small businesses.

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