Most people find describing all the ways in which technology has improved our lives hard. High-tech solutions, like GPS software, online catalogs, and cashless payments have become an integral part of our daily routine.
Modern technology has created unparalleled opportunities for productivity and time-keeping, ones we have never even dreamed of throughout human history. So, yes, without a doubt, technology is our friend when running a business. Or, more accurately, it was until the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suffice to say, private individuals and businesses should take advantage of all the opportunities this lifeline provides. Doing so could require some research and consideration, but the benefits are usually immediate if done right.
Technology for Communication
The Internet, in its current form, has created unparalleled opportunities for building relationships – and communication is the main cornerstone of business. For this reason, businesses simply can’t afford to miss out on any line of communication, especially when face-to-face communication is severely restricted.
Be sure to set up and monitor various contact options for both customers and potential business partners. This is crucial but allows you to capitalize on business opportunities and to keep up, if not outpace the competition.
The impact of a properly set-up online marketing campaign for your product can hardly be understated. Even though personal recommendations have the best conversion rates, online ads are the way of the future. Specifically tailored ads can make or break your business success.
It doesn’t have to just be boring old ads, like flashing banners that AdBlock software or the stale can mute. Social media marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and a professional business website are all essential for putting eyeballs on a product – and can be extremely effective if done right.
With large gatherings out of the question, people have had to quickly rethink the systems taken for granted and effectively restructure everything to fit the new norm. Education is one of the things that had to re-invent in a hurry. Online courses have been a thing for years now. However, now with social distancing being the norm, they’ve become an integral part of daily life. And they’re not just for students, either.
In fact, webinars are currently more popular than ever. Platforms catering to teachers and lecturers and their audiences are popping up left, right and center. Online testing has advanced to a phenomenal level and is improving even further. Businesses can reap the full benefits of this development when the time comes to up their employees’ skills and qualifications. Either the employer or another expert in the field of study can organize online courses on specific work-related subjects.
As systems get increasingly more complex, documentation becomes more and more important for their proper functioning. There’s no wonder that we’re buried in all sorts of documents at all times. Technology can alleviate the burden of collecting, storing, rifling through, and sharing that trove of information immensely.
There’s no avoiding the fact that some paperwork simply needs to exist as a physical object. Nevertheless, most of it really doesn’t. As such, it can be digitized and then stored in a database of some sort – either locally or in the cloud. Cloud services can work miracles when it comes to minimizing the space bookkeeping takes, both in your office and in your schedule.
Gone are the days when you need to browse through huge filing cabinets to find a specific piece of paper with the details you need. All of business information can be neatly organized in a spreadsheet and referenced, shared, and updated at will if you take the time to modernize.
Technology in Human Resource Management
Communication is key for HR. Our current state of technology gives people unparalleled opportunities for connectivity. All you need to do is have the proper channels set up and a procedure in place. Human resource management is never easy. However, the right technological solutions can alleviate the burdens that come with it dramatically.
Organize and Streamline Your Process
Organizing a business without some sort of highly sophisticated technological aid had been getting increasingly difficult over the last couple of decades – but now that everyone’s has to isolate, it has become highly impossible.
Thankfully, there are services that facilitate effective communication and organization of employees that specifically cater to that particular niche in the market – and do it well. Services such as Slack, Trello, Asana, Podio and Basecamp were invaluable tools before – now they have become the backbone of many great organizational practices.
Physical currency is not going away any time soon. However, the constant push to digitize the monetary system has been palpable, especially now that swapping objects with strangers has become a practice that’s frowned upon.
Furthermore, online payment is just easy – and the smoother a business transaction is, the more likely it is for the customer to both partake in and be happy with the service. To that end, it is highly advisable that businesses explore all applicable methods of online payment. Creativity and variety to customers is a must.
Save Money with Tech
Implementing the practices mentioned above does not need to break the bank. There are services out there that offer businesses immense value at an affordable cost, or even for free! Freeware and demo versions of products of all kinds could be extremely helpful in this regard.
Be Wary Of Tech-Complacency
It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. There are also technology-related pitfalls on the road to success that businesses need to be aware of and avoid.
Technological advancement brings humans ease, which breeds complacency. This has been the case since time immemorial, to the point that even Plato discussed how innovation could breed stagnation of the mind.
Of course, the ancient Greek philosopher was talking about books and the written word in general, not technology as sophisticated as tablets and laptops. However, the same principle applies today as it did before. Companies need to be on the lookout for complacency and take measures to to deal with it.
Moreover, businesses should definitely keep breakdowns in mind when taking advantage of advanced technology. Breakdowns can put a screeching halt to the production process and cost a lot of money and effort. In some dire cases, they can even spell out the doom of a company. It pays for businesses to have a backup for all technological systems they use.
Finally, while technology may be useful as a substitute for in-person communication, it can’t always completely replace it. When it comes to customers and employee relations, face-to-face is to ace. Businesses should take measures to prevent the negative side effects a lack of direct human communication can have on all parties.