Time and tide wait for no man, and technology waits for no business. Years ago, it was enough to make a good product, keep in touch with the customers and keep an eye on the competition. If you are running your business along these lines, you are in for a rude awakening. We are now right smack dab in the middle of the “Age of Technology” and if you’re not keeping up, you might be falling by the wayside! So what can we do to keep from falling? Here are some new tools you might want to think about incorporating into your business plans…
- The Cloud – I’m sure you’ve heard of it, it’s been advertised on TV for a while now. This is an application that allows you to access your computer content on all your devices; so, if you are on the road you can access your data from any computer or mobile phone, or iPod that is connected to the Internet.
- Start getting acquainted with Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, to name a few). This is an easy way to contact and interact with your clients and potential clients. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but there is plenty of information on the web about this new medium.
- Smart businesses increasingly will use mobile solutions for a host of business functions. One technology that will explode: accepting payments on smartphones, with tools such as Square (squareup.com). Using this application, you can be anywhere and still accept payments for goods or services rendered.
- With growing confidence in business prospects, you might want to consider hiring (or rehiring) employees and expanding your business.
- More recently, banks have been easing their lending policies and requirements for companies in good standing and with strong customer demand to expand. Even though bank loans for businesses with less than stellar credit are still hard to obtain, there are alternate loan sources available to small businesses with less than perfect credit scores.
- Assuming you have decided to make use of the cloud technology, consider also using it to analyze your business stratagem. The cloud can generate reports showing the results of your plans and policies and help you tweak your tactics to be more successful.
- Think outside the box – your local area. You may not be ready to go global, but you might want to start considering the possibilities of expanding outside of your local sphere.
We’re not suggesting that you jump off the deep end and incorporate all these ideas into your business plan by the end of the week, but these are suggestions that can help you keep pace with our rapidly advancing technology.
Good luck in the New Year!