More and more, success in business hinges on our ability to adapt to technology. Those who are unable to evolve suffer from stagnant growth and fall behind, unable to keep up. Simply because a business has a website doesn't make it safe from peril either. The speed and fluidity with which technology advances requires that business owners do much more. Hiring a web designer is only the beginning if you want to take full advantage of what technology offers, and use it to grow your business. Here are three critical reasons why it's so important to stay ahead of trends in technology.
Expand Your Client and Customer Base
The primary goal of every business owner is to grow, or at least maintain, his customer base. He does this through a variety of means, with more businesses turning to the internet to achieve their marketing goals. By now, we are all familiar with the modern outreach tools of social media, email lists, and the like. However, those are not static sectors and evolve right along with the rest of technology.
So, even if you are already utilising current technology in some capacity, stay on top of improvements and related technology that could help you get even more out of it. For example, you may have a business Facebook account, but are you maximising its potential by measuring and monitoring metrics through Facebook Page Insights? Maybe you have an email marketing service already, but when was the last time you took a good look at what advancements are being offered by the competition?
Enhance the Customer Experience
In addition to staying in step with improvements in online outreach technology, it's also important to remain aware of options that can assist your leads and customers in conveniently reaching you. Assessing the performance of your business website (for example, using Google Analytics) and using the latest in design technology to improve the user experience is one way to increase your online profile.
Investing in responsive web design and creating a mobile app have quickly become two critical components of a successful online business campaign. Mobile apps and responsive web design improve the customer experience and reduce the bounce rate. Additionally in the UK, 32% of people who own a smartphone make an online purchase at least once a month. Losing out on roughly one-third of the market can be remedied by taking advantage of the latest website technologies.
Improve Employee Output and Productivity
The primary focus of new technology is to make life easier by providing us with tools that shorten the distance from the point A to point B, both literally and figuratively. Some of the world's most famous inventions, such as the car, personal computer, and even the microwave oven, prove the point that efficiency sells. It makes sense, too. Those items and many others have made our personal and professional lives much easier.
That is why, as a business owner, it is incumbent upon you to watch out for new and soon-to-be-released products and services. Why? Whether it's a new file sharing app, analytics program, teleconferencing service, or the latest 3D printer; innovations in technology will increase and improve your employee's productivity and output, as well as that of your business overall.
Take the 'cloud', for example. Since the cloud revolution began, some small businesses have successfully transitioned all of their work to a tablet, forgoing the more expensive and cumbersome desktop and laptops altogether. The cloud has saved them significant money in computer hardware, and the employees are completely mobile, if necessary. Those are the kind of changes that can result from keeping tabs on technology.
The more time and money saved on production costs, the more time and money you have to invest into further improving your business. Some of the savings could then be passed onto your leads, clients and customers in the form of promotions. This further exposes your brand, as promotions are good conversion tools.
Technology does not have to be synonymous with expense. Many programs, apps, and much of the hardware that is available, are well within the reach of even small businesses. The nominal upfront cost will also pay off over and over in an expanded customer base and enhanced user experience, along with improved employee performance and output. Keeping up with technology, and implementing the software and hardware that are right for your needs, is an efficient, highly effective way to grow and sustain your business.
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.