One of the biggest reasons that can change the way we shop, or use our retail market, is the shift in technology. While technology is more often than not seen as an asset, for small brick and mortar businesses that eschew technology for old-school appeal, it can be something that is hard to come by. Rather than being in the dark, it's important to acknowledge what makes a brick and mortar small business strong, but at the same time, it's also important to keep an eye on what can hurt a local small business owner. Whether you own a local coffee shop, retail boutique, restaurant, or clothing store, there is much you can garner from this information.
Changes In Customer Service
For one, owning a local brick and mortar small business means that customer service is one of your biggest strengths. However, in an era where owning a small shop comes with some challenges, having instantaneous customer service isn't always the easiest thing in the world. That said, local small businesses still have one key component that no online business will ever be able to provided. The human component! With small businesses, technology is forcing local businesses to develop dedicated customer support channels, whether they happen to be online chat services or even direct phone messaging, the fact is, you have to work three times as hard as a larger business. But use your person-ability to your advantage. Whereas the online retailers and big automated businesses cannot appeal one on one, you certainly can. As a brick and mortar small business owner, use this to your advantage.
Perception Is Everything
One of the biggest changes in technology doesn't have to do with the type of smartphone your business uses or the kinds of tablets you prefer, but more than anything else, it has to do with the perception of your business and how technology influences it. More than anything else, you have to be aware that the way your business is perceived by others is the biggest thing you'll have to be faced with. With online review services like Google Reviews, Yelp, and others, you have to beware that managing your reputation is the most important thing possible. This means that you should treat every customer like gold, and you have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to maintain a positive reputation in your community.
Keep these tips in mind, and you'll see that technology and the changes it brings can be mostly positive.
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