It’s easy for SMEs to look at commercial behemoths like Facebook and Amazon and feel a pang of envy. If you run an SME, how are you supposed to compete with such platforms? The simple answer is that you don’t have to. In fact, they can work surprisingly well in your favor.
However, this can admittedly depend on you using each of your chosen platforms carefully and strategically. Here are example ways that big platforms can launch your SME to sustained success.
Make selective use of social media
Obvious though it might be to advocate social media as a means of reaching new customers, it’s not so obvious exactly how you use it to this end.
While social media might end up competing with many other pressures on your work time, it can still be useful for getting a measure of your customers and their needs, as explained on the Forbes site. Also, stick to your core ethos and focus only on social networks appropriate for your company.
Sell consumer products? Don’t shy away from Amazon
Though Amazon sells a wide range of its products – including the famed Amazon Echo smart speakers – through its online shop, you probably most often use it to buy items produced by companies other than Amazon. This makes Amazon very much a platform, not just a shop.
You could learn from the example of the European fashion brand Kipling, which focused on selling its products primarily through Amazon and was rewarded with huge growth, Bytestart.co.uk points out.
Run a hotel? Get it on Booking.com
When you last sought to book an overnight stay at a hotel, you probably chose to place that booking through… well, Booking.com. It makes sense: after all, that site would have allowed you to browse various hotels if you were particularly picky about which one you should settle on.
Though Booking.com does take a 15% cut for every customer a hotel on that platform gets, you would have to pay much more money in marketing to land a customer without Booking.com’s help.
Cloud telephony is cost-effective to install and maintain
If your SME is yet to implement cloud telephony, 2019 seems a good year to change that. According to an estimate from Gartner and reported by Entrepreneur, the cloud telephony industry should reach roughly $383 billion in value by 2020, and the technology can indeed reap financial benefits for you.
For example, it can be quickly installed, while cloud adoption can save you as much as 70%, contrary to the case with an ageing PBX system.
Cloud telephony can also spur your productivity
With such a system, you can help yourself to keep connecting to customers right around the clock, even when you’re away from the office. That’s reassuring when you consider study findings that the response rate of phone communications is just 8.21% and a much lower 0.03% for emails.
For a cloud-based phone system that can be integrated with workers’ mobile phones, you could turn to a telecoms giant like Gamma.