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Database For Self Employed: Everything You Need to Know

We are living in a world of abundant data and all that data is collectible for marketing purposes. A lack of data can hinder a company in a big way. Not knowing who your customers are, what they want, or how they react to marketing will negatively impact your company. That is why collecting proper data is crucial for business, no matter if you’re self-employed or a large corporation.

Data is important, but why? Knowing as much as you can about your customer helps you tailor your business to their needs. Do your customers like your product? Are they responding to your marketing?  What demographic are you hitting vs what you are targeting? Good data collection can answer all those questions and more.

In this article we will be talking about the different types of databases, database security, and how to maintain databases.

Databases
A database is a collection of data organized together; think of it as a bank of data you’ve collected. This data is then stored in a central hub with other collected and stored information. This could range from inventory to customer information or internal staff matters.  Furthermore, use the database to make sure your data is organized in a way that makes sense and is easy to use. Continuous integration is a good way to speed up data management and integration.

Database Security
Data inconsistencies happen when there are different versions of the same data in separate places. This can be avoided by using a proper data management system. Not only will a management system keep things organized, but it will also provide a good framework for data privacy and security. The more efficient the management, the lower the risk of breached regulations.

One of the easiest ways to keep your data secure is to run an audit. This means checking who accessed your databases, what they did, and when. If you come across people who shouldn’t have access, remove them. Keeping close track of who can access your data will help mitigate any unwanted access.

Keeping your data in a physically safe location is also smart. Store your database in a cool, clean environment that has limited access. You don’t want just anyone to be able to physically access your system, so a lock is a good idea.

Inventory Databases
Keeping track of inventory can be a daunting task. It can be easy to have too much or too little inventory, creating waste or customer disappointment. Tracking inventory manually leaves too much room for error and confusion. If you are self-employed and do every aspect of the business yourself, a database for your inventory can really help. With other tools like bar code scanning and data interchange, a database can save you time and prevent mistakes with an inventory. Inventory databases can even predict when you will need to re-order stock based on business trends.

CRM Database
Customers are what make a business successful, the market determines if your product will take off. It is important to take time to connect with your customers and a good customer relationship management (CRM) database helps you track those connections. A CRM database houses all the information about your customers. Full-featured CRM databases store and process everything from contact details, accounts, purchases, new prospects, and new opportunities. Some CRM software can help with marketing campaigns and email blasts as well.

Now you have all this data and good programs to use it, but the database also needs to be maintained. BusinessWest says that data decays at a rate of 25% or more per annum. For example, if you haven’t checked your data for 18 months, its likely 40% out of date. Data is of no use to you when it is out of date, so be sure to perform maintenance on your  CRM database often by consistently updating information. Cleaning out old data can mean deleting contacts no longer in service, clearing out reports you no longer need, and physically cleaning the housing for the database.

B2B Databases
A B2B database is a log of all the data your marketing team has about potential clients and customers. Specialist data companies will help you fill in the gaps in your data. This data can be phone numbers, employee numbers, emails, and more. Every bit of data is important, so filling in these gaps is a priority. Thankfully, businesses like Corpdata own B2B data and are willing to share for a price.

You can also collect the data yourself by networking with other companies. A marketing team can collect leads about potential clients or customers. Keep track of who you know where and what position they have. Being connected to a big decision maker at another company can be valuable. However, a B2B database needs more than just contact information, it should include firmographic data as well. Firmographic data includes location, company size, and company performance.

HR Databases
A human resources database holds information relating to employees for a business. This can include employee numbers, contact information, training records, and more. Human resources take time to set up and run, but a working database can take care of a lot of the hassle. Running a human resource database will not only save you time but money as well. As your team grows, the HR system will become more complicated, but a database will keep things aligned. A database can help with payroll, leave, benefits, and more allowing you more time to do other tasks.

Predictions
A business is meant to grow and expand meaning there will be even more data that needs to be managed. Most database software has a reporting function, including anticipating future numbers and needs. If it is only you running the business, these reports act as a summary of what is going right and what is going wrong. As you grow your company, the database will grow with you and generate reports so you can see what is happening.

Running a business and being self-employed means you must be resourceful with your time and money. A database will take several tasks off your hands, saving you valuable time. This also means you don’t need to hire someone else to take care of those tasks for you. A database is essential for any business new, old, big, or small.

Meet The Author:


Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.
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