What service or product do you provide? Education? Food? Hardware? Books? Latte coffee done just right? Personal pampering massages? Well, it doesn’t really matter – one way or another, even if you don’t know it, you are in the technology business – or at least you are if you want to stay in business. Are you a startup? A growing company? A well-established market leader? Again, it doesn’t matter – you still need to keep your eye on the ball and avoid falling behind the competition, and that means being aware and up to date of the current technological trends.
If you are taking a “wait and see” attitude, as so many business owners do, then that’s understandable. After all, running a business is a high tension, high uncertainty activity. you don’t want to take too many risks and you don’t have too much time or energy to spare on unproven technologies. But if you don’t make a modicum of effort to keep up you could find yourself scrambling to catch up with those who rapidly adapted the current trends. But if you invest the effort in anticipating the trends… well, then they will be scrambling to catch up to you – which option sounds better?
The good news is that there are several new technological approaches that can seriously upgrade your product, service, marketing and overall customer experience – and that can be adopted even by small businesses.
Software as a service (Saas)
SaaS is a catch all phrase for a whole slew of technological tools including digital sales, point of sale (POS), cloud computing, payment processing and accounting systems.
In addition to being much easier and less expensive in terms of management and maintenance in comparison to more traditional systems, they are also designed to scale up and down to meet the needs of a growing or transitioning business. Best of all, they can be accessed from any mobile device and offer seamless third party integration.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another new concept that can revolutionize every aspect of your product experience. It basically connects any electronic device to the internet, offering you countless advantages, from optimized inventory management, improved security (good luck stealing an internet traceable product) and tracking and analyzing product use and preferences by your customers.
Additional advantages include utilizing IoT sensors to identify machinery and devices requiring repair, thereby reducing repair costs and downtime.
Marketing and sale automation
The days of the dedicated door to door salesman. He costs too much and covers too little territory– and frankly so does the outsourced Indian call center team. There is no call to mourn them, any more than there is call to mourn the passing of the skilled assembly line worker. Automated machines can feed your customers with informative content and personalized interaction up to the very final stages of the sale funnel. Moreover marketing automation software can intermesh with your preexisting systems to promote many other aspects of your business, including reordering, advertising and lead management.