By Cindy Bates
In my experience, the most successful small businesses are those that make the most out of their investment in technology.
They are the practitioners who are empowered to respond quickly and professionally to clients and the online entrepreneurs who can expand the capabilities of their websites. They’re often small companies reaching out to national and global audiences through email marketing. However they operate, those business people who best capitalize on technology consistently find a speedier and more productive route to their markets. Research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found SMBs leveraging technology grow revenue and profitability at a much faster rate. According to BCG, if just 15 percent of low-tech SMBs and 25 percent of the mid-tech SMBs became high-tech SMBs, the result would be 2 million more jobs and an additional $357 billion into the U.S. economy.
We at Microsoft want every small business to realize the full power and value of accessing online technology. We recently announced the availability of three new Office 365 plans to help businesses thrive. We continue to offer small businesses affordable solutions that empower them to better serve customers and are excited about several other programs we’ve launched with partnering companies.
For micro-small business with a single entrepreneur, we recently collaborated with GoDaddy to create a small-business package called Get Online Today. For just $1 a month in the first year, this program enables even the smallest of businesses to get online with a complete Web presence. The package includes:
• A custom domain name
• A subscription to Website Builder from GoDaddy, including hosting for the company’s website on the custom domain name
• Microsoft Office 365, connecting professional email, contacts and calendars to the business’s custom domain name
• $50 in credits for Bing Ads to help businesses find new customers
• 24/7 support from GoDaddy
Of course, there are many types of small businesses and those who are “micro” today can need to grow exponentially tomorrow. GoDaddy also has a Business Premium offer that’s available for up to five employees. We’re committed to helping businesses through every phase and these GoDaddy offers are an easy and affordable way to get your hands on the same types of online tools that your much larger competitors are using.
Online customer relationship management (CRM) is another tool that SMBs can take advantage of to gain a competitive edge. Microsoft Dynamics CRM online can help reduce costs and increase profitability by organizing and automating business processes that nurture customer satisfaction and loyalty in the sales, marketing, and customer service fields. For those businesses using Salesforce, they now get the benefit of Office 365 through our new partnership with Cirrus Insight. This powerful combo lets you view Salesforce information in Office 365 and use email templates for easy tracking to see who opened your emails, when and where.
In addition, you’ll want to be sure you’re using the most efficient hardware to avail yourself of what online technologies can provide. Consider the Surface Laptop Replacement Bundle to help you upgrade your equipment. You can receive as much as $150 off the full-powered Surface Pro 3 PC/tablet and the Surface Pro Type Cover and Docking Station when they all are purchased together.
Open the door to Office 365 for your business, in conjunction with GoDaddy and CRM and carry the full-featured Surface Pro 3 to enter the business arena armed with all the capabilities needed for drawing the most from your technology. Don’t just think big—think smart and harness the smartest technology to propel your business forward.
For more information on how to get the most from your technology and sharpen your business’s competitive edge, check out Microsoft’s ModernBiz website.
Microsoft U.S. SMB group
Cindy Bates leads the company’s efforts to help SMBs realize their full potential through the use of technology. This blog is where she shares SMB stories, technology insights, and business strategies for SMBs.
We have received permission to re-post this blog from the Microsoft SMB Blog.