Anyone starting a business before the internet age would have had to go through a potentially long and drawn-out process of research and phone calls just to get themselves registered as self-employed. However, the advent of increasingly well-connected technology means that now all these jobs can be completed online within minutes, not to mention the wealth of information available to anyone who wants to ensure that they are compliant with all the procedures involved in working for themselves.
Another benefit to being an independent professional in the current climate is the sheer wealth of opportunity afforded to those who work for themselves by having access to the internet. Being able to communicate with clients, engage with customers and often complete work online makes it much easier for people from a range of professions to work for themselves from wherever they choose to set up their business.
However, there is a flip side to the benefits of getting online and being able to promote your business – getting it wrong online can be damaging to your business, whether that’s failing to take advantage of the opportunities that the internet affords you or missing the mark with an online message. Some businesses manage to find the holy grail – a viral marketing campaign that takes off and catapults their brand to international stardom, but for most, just keeping on top of their online activity is the best way to make the most of their online presence.
Customers now expect 24 hours access to online amenities, including businesses, meaning that many expect a response to any questions or issues they raise within a very short time. While large businesses can afford to have teams that can deal with any customer service issues, those who operate small businesses by themselves or with minimal staff can find it hard to keep on top of things, especially during busy periods. However, this does mean that those who work for themselves are able to make decisions quickly without having to wait for authorisation and to negotiate with customers using their autonomy as the business owner.
In this way, small businesses can take advantage of the persona touch to succeed where their larger counterparts might be unable to compete. Acting swiftly, connecting on an individual level and providing a truly personalised service can all make a business much more appealing to a customer, so keeping on top of their online presence should be a priority for anyone who wants their small business to succeed.
If you want to focus on your online strategy but find it hard to juggle the pressures of dealing with your finances, marketing yourself and actually doing your job all at once, then using a specialist freelancer accountant is a great way to save yourself time, money and stress.