2017 is the year to prepare your business for the future... because the future is already here!
There's virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), bots, drones, self-driving cars, 360 and live streaming video, teenage social media millionaires, digital currencies, blockchain and smart contracts, the internet of things, progressive web apps, 1 hour delivery, banks that you can only deal with via an app, electronic and digital signatures, hackathons, tech hubs and business accelerators, unicorns, e-sports...
And many more modern technological phenomenons that businesses can take advantage of to make your products and services more interesting, valuable, engaging and supportive to your customers, and ultimately to stand out from the crowd. But how do you get a grip on all of these and make use of them if you're a small business already spending every waking moment to keep things going with so much uncertainty in the world today.
For our first post we've got some short, general tips for you to think about for now, and we'll go into more detail on each of the items above in future posts.
- Don't be distracted by what everybody else is telling you is the next big thing. Listen to your existing customers, and figure out what's valuable to those that are most valuable to you.
- When thinking about taking advantage of a new technology, think about what most closely aligns with your industry while considering the skills of your existing team, even if you're a one-man-band.
- Do (at least some of) your own research, along with a second opinion. That way you're likely to see something that really jumps out at you as most likely to be able to be implemented, understood by your team and your customers, and easy to be tested and improved in the future without too much expense.
- Get advice from the big companies that you already do business with (at least those that appear to be ahead of the game) e.g. your bank, your telephone and internet provider, your accountant, your favourite airline, your mobile phone manufacturer - don't be afraid to reach out to your account manager at any of the businesses that you spend money with. They have lots of money and lots of people also concerned about the same things that have done the research and should be more than happy to provide some advice because, after all, by helping you to be more successful, they're helping themselves.
- Ask an expert (like us) whose sole purpose is to provide exactly the help you need to figure it all out based on your specific requirements and budget.
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