You’re not doing business the same way you were 20 years ago. Since your company got hooked up with broadband, you are not getting nearly as much use out of that printer and fax machine. The landline is not the only way you are communicating with potential clients. And your travel computer has gotten a lot thinner and lighter, with a much smaller hard drive than ever before.
These changes in the way you do business mirror the changes in the way businesses have adopted tech. There was a time when tech trickled down from business to consumer. Today, it is a complete reversal. Tech most frequently moves from the consumer space to businesses. This is especially true in the realm of information. Here are three examples of how information tech is changing your business:
There’s an app for that came directly from the consumer world. While Apple was not first with a consumer application repository, the iPhone revolution turned programs into apps, and made them an integral part of the smartphone paradigm, as well as a necessary part of what it means to do business.
You can’t just have an auto parts store. You have to have an app where people can learn more about the parts they need, check inventory, and order online if unavailable in store. You can’t just have a restaurant. You have to have an app, or at least an app-like mobile site with a somewhat browsable menu and map directions.
You can’t just have an event, trade show, or expo. You need branded event apps that guide people through the sessions, provide a schedule with up to the minute changes, and engagement metrics. You don’t have to be a huge company with in-house design expertise. That is a thing of the past. If you want your future events to make the grade, there’s an app for that, and it can be customized just for your event.
Expand Your Communications Channels
I’m not saying you should get rid of newsletters altogether. But a notable podcast consultant and coach make a compelling case for turning your newsletter into a podcast. One of the points he made worth expanding is spam.
All too often, newsletters become unintentional spam. It is so easy to collect an email address for one reason, then spam it with an unsolicited, unappreciated, unread newsletter. You get excited about the number of people getting it. But that obscures that fact that few are reading it.
A podcast may get smaller numbers. But it will have a more highly engaged audience because every person listening is someone who sought it out, subscribed to it, and turned on a podcast player to hear it. It is difficult to imagine better engagement than that.
Best of all, it is not as difficult as you might think. You can do it well with an iOS device and a $60 mic from Amazon. You can make it scripted or conversational, solo or ensemble. It all surprisingly works quite well. It doesn’t have to be your only form of corporate communication. But it is worth adding to what you are already doing.
Some of today’s most important business meetings can be done in shirt and tie. Below that point, clothing is completely optional. That is because built-in webcams, broadband, and great apps are helping to facilitate face-to-face meetings that don’t involve actual proximity.
Besides wearing boxers and slippers to your next high-powered meeting, Mashable ranks saving money as the highest benefit. Also making the list:
- Connecting disparate employees
- Maintaining personal connections
- Improving work-life balance
Other benefits include not being judged by the $500 snake-skin shoes that you don’t have and can’t afford, the ability to share files more conveniently, and the ability to have a meeting regardless of time and place.
Companies are using technology to great affect. Fortunately, technologies such as custom event apps, podcasts, and online meetings are not expensive. They come from technologies that were popular and thus, familiar to average people. And if you are not already using them, you can get started today.