We are on the cusp of a total digital transformation, or DT, as the tech world refers to it. If your company has not already hired someone to handle these operations, it may be something to look into. The days of mom and pop type stores that have a stand-alone cash register with a ledger book are long gone.
These days, if you want your business to be successful, you must jump headfirst into the digital world. Whether you sink or swim is up to you. You may not know how to get started with technology, but here are five tips to ensure your company is ready for all of 2017’s technological advances.
#1. Make Sure Everything Using ‘SMAC’
When speaking of digital transformation, you must ensure that everything is connected. Are you one of the businesses that are having issues with SMAC? Simply put, SMAC is social, media, analytics, and the cloud. These are the things that you need to be most concerned with. The first and foremost concern is making sure your company is fully acclimated to social media. Everything must be run through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and any other outlet that is valuable to your customer base.
To connect with your customers, you must come down to their level, and social media is just the way to accomplish that. Connect your website to your social media pages to ensure that those who are interested in your business can quickly find out the information they need.
#2. You Must Use Big Data To Increase Sales
Whether your business is in Argentina and you want to connect with an American customer, or you live in Brazil and sell to the Chinese market, big data can help you to be successful. In days gone by, analytics were only available to those who had big budgets to spend. Now, any business can use analytics to connect with their customers. Do you want to predict what your customer needs or wants before they ever come to you? Thanks to platforms powering your websites, it can be done.
Big data is everywhere, and if you are not using analytics, it is time you start. Another perk to using this method, you can constantly monitor your processes. You can easily pinpoint the areas that need improvement and those that are working properly.
#3. Mobile Optimization Is No Longer Optional
Today’s users have computers, tablets, and smartphones. They may use all these devices on a regulate basis to pay bills, shop, and chat with friends. Can your website provide the same service for your customers on a computer that it does when they switch to their cell phone? If the answer is no, then you need to make some adjustments.
Part of Google’s new algorithm updates for 2017 is to make sure that the sites they rank are optimized for mobilization. Believe it or not, there are many people who don’t have computers anymore. Some just use their smartphone for all their business transactions. They need to ensure that your site can provide them great service, whether sitting in their office or using their phone on the subway ride to work.
#4. ‘Uberizing’ Your Business
Uber has absolutely changed the transportation industry in the past two years. Their business model caused other companies to think and rethink their current stance. Sure, Uber could have bought tons of vehicles and placed them throughout the United States as a taxi for hire company, but they changed things up. If they would have started their business like every other transportation company, they would have had massive overhead and debt drowning them in the first ten years. By hiring people to use their own cars, and keeping them as independent contractors, they started the business on top.
Today, the company is said to make more than $20 million per week. They claim that their drivers make over $100,000 a year. It certainly is a win-win for all involved.
Take their business model and compare it to your business. What could you do differently? If you think outside the box a bit, can you be a pioneer in your industry? If your company is built on outdated concepts and principles, you may not survive in this technological era. You need to have a fast response to market trends, an excellent customer service team, and to switch over to a pay-as-you-go business model.
#5. Reinvent The Concept Of The Office
If you think that you need a huge building with hundreds of employees to make money, think again. Businesses are shutting down large facilities and sending employees home to work. In 2017, expect to see more people packing up their stuff for a mobile office. Employers need smaller overhead costs that make their business more profitable. Some companies don’t even have store sites or physical locations anymore. Since everything is done online, why not have a virtual office? If you require face-to-face interaction, most things can be done online or at the corner coffee shop. Isn’t sitting down signing contracts over coffee better anyway?
Forget the old business model that you needed to have a conference room with plush chairs and a tray of coffee and donuts for guests. Scratch all of that from your memory, and you should consider sending employees home to work. Many employees work smarter and harder when they are at home. They will give the same level of dedication they do in an office, and maybe even a bit more. If you are concerned with going cold turkey and getting rid of your spaces altogether, then you should try the mobile office with a few people. If things work out well, you can begin to expand the mobile office and reduce your overhead.
If you are not sure how to embrace technology and all the changes it brings, a training company may be the answer to your dilemma. These companies will be the first to tell you that you should never look at training as a cure all for any business woes. But there are companies that help those who are struggling to keep up with today’s ever-changing trends. These companies make it their goal to keep up with all the technological advances, and they can help you stay up to date too.