Reib Law - February 2020



INCREASED USE OF DATA ANALYTICS “Big data” is intimidating. For years, sifting through customer data and extracting valuable information that can be used to grow businesses was something that only the largest companies had the time, funds, and expertise to do. However, more programs that reduce the upfront investment and expertise necessary to contextualize customer data are popping up. If you can make use of your customers’ data, you can give them an experience with your business that they won’t find many other places. CONTINUED RELIANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Social media marketing remains an effective tool for attracting customers to your small business, even if the tools continue to change. While marketing on Facebook and Instagram might seem like old news, marketing on trendier apps, like TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, can still work to your business’s benefit. A recent study showed that 45% of consumers head to social media when they have a question about something — are you going to be there to answer it? Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech trends in small-business management can be exhausting, but in an age where technological advancement is accelerating faster than ever, it’s necessary for the survival of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

The line between technologies that are beneficial for large businesses and those beneficial for small businesses continues to blur. While the latest software programs were once only available to large companies that could afford them, some of these programs have also become available and profitable for small businesses to use. In an age of increasing connectivity, these are a few tech trends that small businesses should watch out for. COLLABORATION WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE While it certainly shouldn’t replace every customer interaction, using AI software programs for small tasks — like email marketing, data entry, accounting, and some low-stress forms of customer service — is invaluable to small businesses. Delegating menial tasks to AI can free up time for you to focus on those more important face-to-face interactions with your customers.

BIZ TOOL OF THE MONTH: CALENDLY Every small-business owner can relate to the back and forth that happens when you’re trying to get a meeting nailed down with a client or prospect. Pretty soon, you’ve eaten up the whole day just getting something on the books. KEEP YOUR CALENDAR STREAMLINED

double-booking and hectic days. You can add two or more calendars with a Premium or Pro plan on Calendly; a Basic plan allows one. Calendly’s settings also allow you to prevent last-minute meetings and to set buffers between meetings to keep your day manageable. Appointment times are preset to 60 minutes, and you can set your availability well in advance.

Some of the other cool features of Calendly include these:

It’s this inefficiency that Calendly aims to solve. This calendar-scheduling service offers three different plans (the Basic plan is free, and Pro or Premium plans cost a monthly fee) and integrates with your calendar account to allow customers an easy scheduling option. Once you send them your unique, personalized Calendly URL, they can see which appointments are available and select a day and time that works for them. When they select one, that time slot fills up on the back end and isn’t available to others. Because Calendly can integrate with your other calendars, including Google, Outlook, and Office 365, it helps prevent

• Time zone intelligence

• Ability to imbed the scheduling service on any webpage

We’ve used Calendly for a little over a year now and have been pleased with the ease and efficiency of it. It seems to be pretty user-friendly for our clients and doesn’t require a lot of extra work on either end. For anyone who’s ever dreamed of streamlined calendars, Calendly may just be your new best friend.

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