Sometimes it seems like the world of technology evolves so quickly that it becomes too difficult to even try to keep up with it. Every day there's a new product, website or application that people say will change everything.
Though it seems difficult, especially for an established company, keeping up with new trends in technology has become absolutely crucial in this day and age. If you don't, your competitors probably are, and they're gaining new clientele as a result.
If you're still using Windows 95 and haven't bought a cell phone since 2002, you might feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, and that's understandable. For some people, utilizing technology is like speaking a foreign language. With a little bit of time, energy and possibly some help from a tech savvy individual, though, you can make the transition into the 21st century without a hitch.
Here are some fairly new innovations that your business must incorporate in order to be successful in today's business climate:
A Good Website
By now, most businesses have a website. Whether it's good or not is a completely different story.
Having a website can only take you so far. If you haven't updated it since it was first created, it could actually be hurting your business. Just like having a sign outside your door with missing letters, having a website that looks outdated and unusable will drive customers away.
A good website can increase sales, help with customer relations and gain new customers. It doesn't need to be world-class, but rather easy to use, sleek and informative. If you sell a product, having an e-commerce site could exponentially drive your product out the door. If you sell a service, make sure that anyone that goes to your website can easily decipher what you do, then be able to easily contact you.
If you're not taking social media seriously, you better start. Just like a website, social media has become crucial to a businesses' success, regardless of what industry you might be in. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine all help businesses promote their product or service, all for free. It's like having a one-on-one conversation with a client. Except instead of one client, it's thousands. Furthermore, these messages can be carefully tailored to your goals, whether that's reputation management or just retaining the clients you already have. You can create promotions, tell a funny joke or just reach out to a client to tell them happy birthday. The possibilities are seemingly endless, yet everyday there's a new tool to better reach your customers.
Stay up to Date with New Innovations in Your Industry
This one might seem obvious, but it's easier said than done. If you're industry is highly profitable, someone is investing millions of dollars into making a seemingly obscure product that will turn the industry on it's side. For example, while your oil company may think it is super efficient when it comes to crude oil tank cleaning, some bright mind is coming up with a brand new invention that simplifies everything.
Search for blogs and forums concerning your industry. Nearly every industry has some sort of new technologies website. If you're business hasn't been keeping up with these innovations, than it might be operating inefficiently, which means that outdated technology may be costing precious time and money.
Keeping up with the 21st century won't be easy. If it were, everyone would do it. The cream always rises to the top, and in this day and age, new technology is the cream of business strategy. Get informed, stay up-to-date and watch your business succeed.
Patrick Rafferty is a marketing consultant for Waterline LLC, a company with a patent-pending tank cleaner which offers significant advantages versus shell-mounted rotary jet mixers.