Business Intelligence is an important topic these days, yet the perception remains that small businesses don’t need to analyse their data, that it doesn’t apply to them nor bring value to their business. Those in the know are fully aware this is untrue and that the right data can help any business thrive in an increasingly data-laden world. Here are a few tips on what business intelligence can do for your small business!
The right data coming to you from the right analytics streams can help clear the deadwood from view, showing you where you should be prioritising your small business’ focus and resources. Are you too focused on areas that your instinct or company’s history tells you to, while ignoring areas that are now relevant? Perhaps egos or habit has the company or management focused on their own interests rather than that of the company? The right BI will help set that straight and help you prioritise what your company needs to thrive!
Streamline and organise internal systems, communications, and methods with new and relevant data that can show you what’s working and what isn’t. Be sure that your management and staffing structure is the best fit for your company, your goals, and your budget. A platform that integrates into your stock taking system will allow better control over your inventory and even indicate to you the best cycles throughout the year to stock up on specific items. The right business intelligence data will tell you how and why to organise your company, helping you to organise it in the most efficient way.
Worried about cash flow and overheads? Trying to work out if you really need to spend what you’re needing and if you’re getting value for money from suppliers, services and vendors? Discover if your cash is just going down the drain, or if you’re getting bang for your buck with the right data. Sometimes you have to spend a little (on BI) to make a little by discovering where savings can be made - and where spending more can actually benefit you in the long-term.
Hiring market research companies can be a hugely expensive and a time-consuming investment, and without control of the questions being asked and with some issues potentially lost in a case of “Chinese Whispers”, sometimes it’s easiest to take control. Modern business intelligence platforms, and the vast array of information it can bring you can help answer the specific questions you need to be answered, and maybe even the questions you didn’t know needed answering. Using BI can help your small business’ research needs to grow and improve!
Business Expansion and Product Growth
Want to know which of your products and services are hitting the right notes, and where? Business intelligence analytics and data can pinpoint exactly where aspects of your business are popular and even indicate trends in geography, population and other demographic indicators to help expand and grow your business in the right places as you seek out new opportunities to enlarge your business, while reducing risk or reliance on gut instinct, and boosting profit!
Reassess and target
It’s always worth regularly taking a step back to reassess your business from a broad, overall perspective, and to take a look at the smaller and finer details. This can help not just with operations and overheads, but in helping to target your company’s products, services and marketing.
Adapt and Diversify to Market Changes
As part of your continual reassessment, you’ll learn how best to adapt to changes in the market. As the world speeds up so must your ability to adapt and move with it before you get left behind. Before that can happen, take advantage of the analytics available to grow with the market, and to be prepared before trends come and go. Anticipate seasonal changes in demand for your company’s products and be ready to move in advance, while spotting consumer patterns you may not have expected and work to the data on offer!
Improve online presence and social media
With more and more people engaged in social media, and increasing dependency on smartphones and devices to get information, watching the analytics available from your company’s social media presence is incredibly important. Learn how to target boosted posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while understanding what your audiences respond best to. Use social media and your websites to create a loop for your users to engage with through fascinating content that they can respond to and engage with, while learning more about your actual users, and also what potential users would respond to.
Studying the data provided by your business intelligence can help improve and hone your customer engagement not only through your social media and marketing presences, but in direct contact with your customers. Whether it’s the broader view or specific customer data, improve contact with your customers and clients by having all the data relevant to them close by to offer better service to them. BI will also improve your direct one-on-one contact with the customer, allowing you to better understand their historical needs and spot upcoming trends in their behaviour.
Perhaps one of the best payoffs for small businesses that invest in good business intelligence systems and platforms is the ability to accurately and appropriately prepare for the future, whether that’s short, medium or long term. The days of relying on gut instinct alone in planning for the future are gone, as the ability to view measurements and insights becomes essential to the growth and planning of your business today.
Investing in business intelligence will allow you to understand not only what’s happening to your small business, but why it’s happening and where it’s going. Aggregating all those strands of data through a platform such as Viur will allow you to not only see that information, but do it in a way that’s simple to understand and help making decisions faster, better and more relevant, proving that you don’t have to be one of the big boys to make the most out of your data.