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1 out of 6 Americans will lose their jobs in the next 4 years because their small to medium business (SMB) is not using technology effectively. Based on research involving 3,800 SMB leaders, we’ve identified the 6 drivers for the success of your business—where more than 1 third of the U.S. population is now employed. Focus on these 6 factors and your probability for success skyrockets. Prosperity and profitability are actually quite achievable when you employ technology with laser focus to what matters. The good news is that the strong collaboration involving your customer knowledge and our technical team’s expertise can build the foundation of technology to create the high performing, profitable engine to drive your company forward for years to come. Here are the 6 concepts that we at VujaDay use as a component of our Roadmap for serving our clientele:

1)    Mobility drives agility and efficiency

2)    Data driven customer-centric decisions

3)    Automation, social and mobile marketing drives scale

4)    Talent wins

5)    Tech savvy businesses gain a competitive advantage

6)    Customer experience is a company wide focus

These benchmarks reveal a digital paradigm shift that is transforming the landscape of SMBs involving the combination of a strong Web Presence, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Mobile Apps. Each of these digital services are the hallmarks of VujaDay Creative Digital Agency. In this week’s post, we will focus on the challenges associated with the emerging digital paradigm shift for SMB owners as well as opportunities to mitigate such challenges.

The Importance of a Strong Web Presence

Statistics prove that only a limited number of companies are effectively using Websites and other digital resources toward substantial gains. If this is your company, you are missing out on GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES and PROFITS. A number of obstacles are preventing your company from integrating a Web Presence into your digital strategy including, budget, resources, technical knowledge, and time. In the article How Much Is Online Presence Helping Small Business?, a recent study by Merrill Research investigated how SMBs build their digital presence by offering clients and potential customers a gateway to their business by way of a Website. The international study analyzed responses from 1,050 business, with between 1-50 employees who maintain an online presence in some capacity—either a website, blog, or social media presence. Results from the study confirmed several of the previously outlined obstacles causing SMB owners to not offer a company Website, most notably, technical knowledge.

Evidence from the study offers a conclusion that although SMB owners understand the value of an engaging, powerful, and user friendly website, most are not sure how or where to get started.

In speaking about the difficulties associated with the technical knowledge business owners need today, creative catalyst and Drexel University professor Rick Kantor suggests it is what severe ADD must feel like: a crippling tornado of things to do but no idea where to begin or how to separate all the pieces. It’s too big and complex to begin. Add onto that the experience of trying and being thwarted by technology that we can’t get to work and so we lose 6 hours stuck on uploading something that would take you 30 seconds! And there we are frustrated and stuck because we don’t know how to go to Settings to turn off cookies…or some innocuous, simple task. Leaving us feeling helpless, illiterate and vulnerable! Tired, vulnerable, unable to protect ourselves, easy prey for anyone who offers us an easy solution. Then we get taken advantage of.

The mission of VujaDay is to listen to you, the customer first. Our goal is to develop a rapport with you, to hear your dreams and work with you to help you meet all of your organizational goals. We will collaborate with you to patiently demystify the world of technology, and the benefits of integrating digital opportunities, including a strong Web Presence to differentiate your company from competitors, while allowing you to cultivate relationships with customers to support them and let them know that you are always available to them.

Primarily due to budgetary constraints, most SMBs do not employ in-house IT employees. Up until technology began to dominate our economy, SMBs had no need for technology support. As a result, the same businesses are relying on social media for communication purposes because of familiarity, ease of use, and no cost. However, such social media marketing efforts usually end up un-noticed by potential customers. Although social media can be a powerful tool, most companies are missing the chance to differentiate themselves from competition by establishing a creative digital marketing strategy in accordance with a company Website. In an invariably connected digital economy, digital marketing presents tremendous potential for customer relations, marketing, and communication. Additionally, company Websites enable simple customer communication as well as a pointer to the businesses social media outlets, while offering a place for new customers to learn about the organization. Metaphorically speaking, think about your Web Presence strategy as a spiderweb, including a Website and Digital Marketing, having one without the other means you have a hole in your web that decreases your online visibility, which in-turn prevents you from your ultimate goal of new leads, client conversions, and profitability.

A vital component of a creative website design strategy that will help differentiate a small business from competitors involves a shift from a basic to a sophisticated online presence. Unfortunately, most SMBs that have Websites do not operate in this manner. Services such as SquareSpace, Weebly or Wix only serve the most basic businesses. Consider attempting to find a house address in the dark that’s too small, has no lighting and is hidden behind shrubs! Business owners need advice on how to initiate a successful transition; from a simple, to creative and engaging Website—VujaDay is here to support such efforts. Furthermore, SMBs typically do not recognize that their digital presence extends beyond their own Website to the use of third party web portals such as Yelp, business directories such as Yellow Pages, and social media sites including, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. VujaDay works collaboratively with clients to establish a sophisticated digital presence that:

  • Extends beyond simplistic Websites
  • Improves social media campaigns that often result in very few likes, and even less Web traffic
  • Secures your business listings on the sites, apps, and directories that factor most in local search engine results.
  • Offers the metrics and analytics to reveal what is occurring behind the scenes of your Web Presence.

In our conversation with Kantor, we spoke about his concerns with the emerging digital paradigm shift:

I know I’m smart, I’m a professor, I have a Masters and 2 ½ other degrees as well. I’ve successfully run companies. But I’m a 21st century illiterate. I can’t wrap my brain around technology in a way to harness it. It’s not like improving my writing with practice, since I understand words and language. Technology is a foreign language. And just as the child’s brain under age 7 has the plasticity to easily learn new tongues, and it has been shown multiple languages make for more creative, fluent and flexible brains in kids—the brains of my generation didn’t carve those neural pathways for the language of tech. I know there are many seniors or people in their 50’s who are pretty good at it. But how many could compete in a video game with an eight year old?

I’ve been struggling for 17 years with this, taken college level courses, learned software programs. Yes I have a Facebook account I mostly wish would go away, and a Twitter account I don’t know how to use. I teach online and I’ve learned to make that work…but not at the level and variety it would if I grasped technology more easily. It’s like handing me the 206 bones of the human form and telling me to make a skeleton. Hand me those 206 bones, could I build a skeleton? Not good and not quickly because I don’t have the anatomical map. Unlike technology, I do live in my own body so I do have some familiarity.

With technology, how to get caught up? How to understand if LinkedIn is related to Facebook, and how that should tie to webpages. Afraid to launch one piece of everything isn’t right. How do I monitor it, get analytics? How to keep up with seeing any responses and replying? Should I set Google alerts? Who should host? What platform for a website? Can I make changes myself or do I need a webmaster? How can I have peace of mind that my “image” in the digital world is appropriate and up to date? Do I need a Facebook business account?  What affects my SEO?

Along with you…the customer…VujaDay is here to help alleviate the anxiety and tension associated with the challenges of the digital world. We will listen and work together with you to identify your needs, then make decisions to determine which services meet your needs i.e. Web Presence, Digital Marketing, SEO, and Mobile Apps to build you an online presence that most of all reflects who your business, or you, are. As equally important, we will design a strategy and plan of action based ON YOUR BUDGET.