Technology pervades nearly every aspect of our life, and as it develops so too must your business. When the internet first hit the mainstream, every company worth its two cents got their website up and running and began building an online presence.
Even small companies, or business owners who would usually avoid the influence of technology in their personal life, have to keep up with the curve. The reasons are many. Technology gives you an edge in too many ways to ignore.
Technology, when properly applied, effects your businesses efficiency and productivity. You can use it to manage stocks and storage, handle orders and deliveries, and keep track of finances and processes. Solutions such as Enterprise Resource Management allow businesses of all sizes to automate and reduce processes, increasing efficiency across the whole organization without sacrificing quality.
You can (and probably should!) take a human-to-human approach when it comes to the front-end and the customer service, but you can certainly make the majority of your operations smoother with technology. You can also use it to facilitate meaningful communication with clients, customers and employees. In fact, communication is one of the key benefits of technology.
Think about life before the telephone or fax machine. Comms would have been painfully slow. The internet has made communication close to instantaneous, with email and social media at the forefront. Skype and online meeting rooms can be used to communicate with people from all around the world, reducing the need to travel and allowing for regular contact with international networks.
Communication also includes the message that you are putting out to customers, and the internet has once again raised the stakes. You need to have a strong social media presence, a good-looking and functional website, live chats and contact forms, and perhaps even video media to explain your products and concepts. New and innovative platforms are coming out all of the time to enhance the options available to you when it comes to your marketing and branding, like Twitch, which has had million dollar events broadcast over it. You have to keep up so your message doesn’t get lost in a shroud.
Recent technology has also opened up new doors when it comes to data collection and analysis, so much so that we collect more data than we really know what to do with. If you use your data intelligently, you can study the behaviour of your customers to gain insights that can improve your services and increase your conversion rates. You can research company and industry trends, find new opportunities and new leads.
Advancements in this technology will allow for greater levels of personalization in the future. Your business can use customer data to present personalized advertisement campaigns, promotions and offerings, increasing user engagement and ultimately leading to more sales.
Another key concern for all businesses is security. Technology has, in some ways, left us more vulnerable. Lots of data is stored online or in the cloud. Hackers can gain access to company data. But technology also provides security solutions, and keeping up with the latest tech may be the difference between losing data and keeping it safe. You can protect client information, financial data and proprietary information with passwords and encryptions.
Keeping up with technology clearly has its benefits. Greater efficiency and productivity, better communication and relationships, personalized offerings for more sales. The consequences of not keeping up with technology are damaging. You may lose your competitive edge, your brand may lose touch with the fast-paced consumers of today and fade into the shadows, and you may miss opportunities to improve your business. So stay with the times!