Keeping up with technology is essential for a plethora of reasons; security being but one of them. Falling behind the technological race could spell disaster for your business. Nokia, for instance, fell into the infamous “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” trap and stubbornly focused on developing only their hardware instead of shifting towards software that was the latest trend (and effectively the future of the mobile industry). The iPhone was launched back in 2007 and the rest is history.
Yet, how does a small business become more technologically aware when it comes to the use of new software and hardware? Read the full article down below and find out!
Depending on your type of business, you will need to supply your staff members with different tools for their standard day-to-day business operations. For instance, if you’re working in the marketing industry, chances are you’ll need some social media tools to connect with your clients. Perhaps you need something to improve your SEO efforts or your PPC campaigns? Either way, make a list!
By composing an extensive list of all the things your staff needs to do, it’s a lot easier to get a hold of all the technology (both software and hardware) that you’re going to need for your daily tasks and to stay ahead of the competition. Using a shared spreadsheet file to fill out and distribute relevant data between colleagues? Maybe there’s a better way of coordinating people in your team — identifying the things you require is the first step to implementing the latest and most appropriate technology.
So, get down to work, and find out what these are.
Another way of staying flexible and up-to-date with technology is to create a scalable business model for your company. Oftentimes, when a budding startup starts to grow, there is little room for expansion in their current state; the office space is too small, they need an army of new people for various departments, etc.
The solution — laying the groundwork for a business infrastructure that can be scaled both up and down (upon need) via cloud computing software, outsourcing non-essential tasks, and so on. For example, investing in scalable bandwidth to sort out your Internet connection; your provider can increase or decrease the broadband speed depending on your business needs.
This particular method gives a lot of breathing room for your business to expand and grow at its own pace, without any added pressure or costly expenses from your end. What’s more, you gain that added flexibility with which you can easily adapt to new market changes and embrace new, innovative technologies without having to slow down and rework your entire business infrastructure from the ground up.
Following trends is vital for staying relevant and not missing out on any opportunities that might come your way. Hence, you always want to keep tabs on your competition and conduct continuous market research to know exactly what’s going on in your industry at the moment.
Oftentimes, you can find some exceptional business software solutions that make your life a lot easier and help you grow your business, which you might have otherwise missed. This is why it’s absolutely imperative that you always be on the lookout for new, innovative solutions (to old problems) within your business and look for ways to integrate them into your systems.
Relevant industry events are the perfect place for hearing and sharing all the latest business gossip; including the latest technological trends and gadgets.
Overall, you won’t be able to keep tabs on all the latest technological trends if you completely isolate your business; you need to stay in touch with similar businesses within your industry to know what’s currently trending and working for them.
Networking is yet another way of staying in the loop with your technological needs. But first, you need to establish solid relationships with other businesses within your industry, as well as with vendors and suppliers, most probably. To do that, you need to work together and help each other out by sharing relevant information between your two companies. Perhaps they have a better solution for the issues within your accounting department and you can assist them with their marketing efforts; “you scratch my back I scratch yours” mentality.
Co-branding is also an option at your disposal for creating strong bonds with other brands. Just take a look at GoPro and Red Bull; both brands cater to the same audience, making their partnership a logical choice. After you get a hold of a partner, you can see how they do business on their end and find things you can ‘borrow’ and implement into your own practice.
Discovering new things is a lot easier when you join forces; be on the lookout for potential allies — always.
In the world of business, you need to spend money to make money.
Look at those software and hardware upgrades you need to implement as a form of investment for the future. You can’t hope to achieve success on a ‘90s computer while storing all of your sensitive business data on floppy disks. Outdated technology has a higher chance of breaking down and repairs can get quite expensive; not to mention the general cost of maintaining those broken-down systems.
Therefore, even if upgrading means spending large sums of money up-front, in the long run, you will save a lot of your time and money by investing in new gear. Moreover, even if you have optimal equipment at the moment, you still need to upgrade them to the latest specs to make sure you don’t fall behind the competition that’s using newer, more exciting technology to do business and attract new clientele.
By Victor T. Miller – Contributor | 05/11/2019
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