In these days a growing new business that attracts many customers will soon require ways of storing its customer information. In the past, paper records were the go-to method allowing employees to scribble down customer information in a file that was inevitably placed in a filing cabinet or a drawer. However, there are a number of disadvantages associated with paper records. A large number of customers can make paper records unmanageable. They can also be difficult to store, search and update. Paper records are also subject to deterioration, loss and damage through fire or flood. Having to rely on paper information also slows down your business operations since the time necessary to retrieve records and information is greatly increased. What if you need to observe trends that occur over several weeks, months or even years? This would mean retrieving years of dusty records for comparison. For these reasons, paper records have no place in the modern office. Continued use can serve to decrease profits, increase delays and frustrate both employees and customer. To eliminate these threats against your company, business owners must insist on adopting databases as a way to store and access crucial information. Here are 5 reasons why creating a database for your business is no longer an option, but a necessity.
Tracking Progress–Running a business can be a hectic endeavor. With so many facets of your business to stay on top of, you are bound to ignore some while giving too much attention to others. Your sales team may forget to follow up on a lead or your marketing may lose track of which marketing campaigns are to be used on which platforms. In addition to this, in many businesses, tasks are assigned to individuals rather than groups of people. However, what happens when the one person charged with completing a task is out for the day or even ill? Is the project simply moved to the back burner? Databases prevent down time by making the data available for any employee in a designated group to work on. In short, databases promote team work and collaboration and allow employees to pick up the slack for each other.
Automation – A database is only as useful as it allows you to retrieve information from it. For this reason a database must be available for queries. The ability to answer business questions in minutes by query your database becomes even more important as your database increases in size. A database utilizing an online SQL editor should be able to serve up the types of results that employees may require. For example, your sales team may want to know which customers ordered a particular kind of pricey paper or it may want to know which customers ordered that paper and a less costly type of ink. The database should also be able to tell them how often the customers purchased those products together. The results of all of these queries are to provide your sales team with insight about the customers and how the company’s products should be marketed to him or her. In addition to this, your database should be able to serve up this information with just a few mouse clicks.
Remote Access – Running a business no longer means having to be present at the office for 80 hours a week. With databases, you and your employees are able to have remote access to all of your information. This way, when at home or on vacation, seeing the data generated by your business is as easy as logging in. You can also choose to hire a database administrator whose sole job it is to look after the health of your business. Remote access is also helpful when it comes to decentralization since employees are allowed to work from home and businesses are able to set up additional offices as the need materializes. However, it is important to keep in mind that internet reliability and bandwidth allowances will play a substantial part in how employees access your database.
Databases Get Employees on the Same Page – There are few things more counterproductive, more detrimental to a business than to have several employees unaware of the work being done by their coworkers. A business can only grow when employees are headed in the same direction. When employees are duplicating work or when there are gaps, the business suffers. When there is no central database, each employee resorts to creating his or her own database. The unintended consequences of this are that each personal database will have varying levels of completion and accuracy. For example,If the sales team does not have access to a central database, inaccuracies about a customer’s needs, past purchases or contact information could lead to frustration and confusion for both customer and sales rep. However a centralized database could help all employees to access the information they need when they need it while promoting progress and eliminating time wastage.
Saves Money – Business are all about increasing profits and limiting losses. A database can help your company stay in the black in a variety of ways. By staying on top of all your tasks, you help create more avenues for profit. Using a database can help you track your business’s growth as well as follow up with potential customers. You can also eliminate the need for employees to manually save customer data. By allowing potential customers to add their own information to your database via account or newsletter signups, you unburden your employees from this mundane task. This way, you will never miss out on a potential lead ever again. Lastly, a database will also allow you to identify customers who bring the most revenue to your company. With this information, your marketing team can consider strategies for marketing to those customers.
There is immense value in having your information where you need it, when you need it. While it may seem burdensome to compile your data into a single database, the benefits of doing so are unmistakable. Apart from being able to work faster and being better informed, employees are more confident when the guesswork is removed. Overall, databases are important tools that can aid the growth of your business.