Thursday 18 December 2014

Conducting Business Is Not What It Used to Be

The world has dramatically changed the way it does business in the past 30 years. This is mainly due to the development of technology in the areas of productivity and communications. Three decades ago, face-time relationships were what mattered, and paperwork could wait. If an employee was not at his or her desk, they were basically out of contact, and sending documents and contracts was mainly done through snail mail.

What Changed?

The two most important changes came with the fax machine and email. All of a sudden, business could be conducted at a faster more connected pace. Documents and contracts could be sent and signed within hours instead of days. Today, these breakthroughs are seen as old-tech. Business is conducted at an even faster and more effective pace with smart phones, tablets, social networks and web-conferencing.

Communication is not only fast, it’s cheap, and with digital signatures documents can be securely signed within minutes. Videos made anywhere in the world can be sent to almost anyone in the world who has access to the Internet. No employee, whether it is the CEO of a big company like Bobby Kotick or a sales associate right out of college, is ever out of reach.

Computer programs and business software has allowed employees access to more information much faster than before. Some of these tools have allowed businesses to reduce the number of employees required to run the business efficiently. They also allow the business to expand without adding more employees. This saves on salaries and employee benefits.

For a small business, outsourcing may be an option for customer service and technical support. It is vital for any business to have excellent customer support, because feedback is almost instantaneous online and you want only good testimonials. If your customers feel you are there to help them, you have a better chance satisfying them.

What Does the Future Hold?

Rather than a webinar, your business will send a hologram of you to another office to virtually attend business meetings, give a lecture in a college or a speech on a stage.

With wearable displays and other devices, people will be able to consume information while traveling or doing other tasks.

Businesses around the world will be able to work closely together as if they are in the same room. This opens up a huge area of collaboration and new market development for any size business. The huge corporations will no longer be the only people with a global presence.

In the not-so-distant future, robots will be performing many of the mundane tasks that humans perform now. This will seem natural for those who grow up with robots, but for older people, it may take time to get used to having robots around.

Adapt or Die

Businesses will need to reevaluate their business plans and five and ten year goals to accommodate changing technology. Just 10 years ago if you didn’t have a social media presence, you could still have a profitable business. Today, many people, especially youngsters, find what they want on social media sites before they make a purchase. If your business in not there, you may not survive.

Technology is the way forward for any business, but especially for small start-ups. They can have excellent communications and presence on the Internet to compete with much larger companies.

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