Let’s talk about how small businesses need to merge their physical and digital presences to survive in today’s competitive business environment. Physical retail sales — those conducted at brick-and-mortar locations — still account for more than 90 percent of all sales made. And depending on the industry in which you do business, your ties to local markets and shoppers might not be in as much danger as some others when it comes to e-commerce rivals. But even if you seem to have a “captive audience” at the local or regional level, having a strong digital presence is still very much a necessity today, make no mistake about it.
There’s an interesting balance to strike between the physical and the digital footprint of a company. Here’s what small business owners should know.
As 2018 comes to a close, we find ourselves looking to the year ahead. While we do think about everything we have to get down and resolutions we hope we don’t break, there’s also the matter of making work easier. In the world of business, human resources or the HR department can sometimes be a meddlesome beast when this doesn’t have to be the case. When the time comes to make your business and your HR staff more efficient, consider a conference.
Conferences allow your staff to branch out to other companies and crowdsource new ideas. Integrating workable solutions from other companies might be just the thing to turn your business around. Even if the department isn’t slipping up, finding and going to these conferences can still make things better for all involved. A better HR department means happier employees and inevitably more profit. So here a few conferences to consider next year:
It’s clear that technology has changed the world as we know it. Today, the way we communicate and interact with each other is different. Technology has also altered the way we shop, browse through products and even reach out to brands. It’s estimated that 46 percent of all holiday orders in 2018, for instance, will be carried out via smartphones. Social media and mobile devices have even changed the way we share experiences. We could go on forever, really.
But something many people know less about is how technology has changed our celebrations and events over the years. When the pilgrims arrived on American shores back in 1620, they had no GPS or voice assistant to direct them to a family or friend’s house. They had no mobile devices or streaming apps to view recipes, watch tutorials or see how to cook a turkey. Heck, it was the first time they had ever even seen or heard of a turkey — smart tech certainly would have helped back then.
Today, our holidays are transformed in many ways by modern tech — from the freezers and cooking appliances used to preserve and prepare foods to the TV sets we turn on to watch the morning parade. We’ve become so dependent on it that it’s easy to take it all for granted.
Two things might surprise you about mobile apps. The first is how variably useful they can be. The second is how many companies — even major companies — haven’t built a mobile app yet or haven’t added basic functionality or customer-requested features.
The truth is, it’s probably time to stop thinking about mobile apps as things we have to “deal with” and think of them instead as blank creative canvases. For the B2B company, mobile apps can be an especially appealing way to put your best foot forward and offer a set of tools useful in the real world for the people you’re trying to reach, retain, entertain, upsell to, convert or just stay in touch with.
Today, technology is everywhere. Society’s growing reliance on modern tech has become, well, unprecedented. For example, everyone has a mobile device or smartphone in their possession, and they also carry it with them wherever they go.
As a business, it’s important that you incorporate such technologies in your operations if only to accommodate your customers. But this also makes it vital that your workforce understands the systems and technologies in use and can leverage them. Sometimes, further training is necessary for select systems, software, and devices.
Cybersecurity experts are in higher demand than ever — and is it any wonder? The vast connectivity of technology these days comes with undeniable opportunities, but also a host of security and privacy concerns that increasingly attract the attention of governments.
Now that our computers are powerful enough and can be networked well enough, we can take the lid off much of this data that industry has always relied on but didn’t always have the means to access or study meaningfully. Now, analytics is a booming industry all its own. It’s made up of connected tools and equipment that gather and organize data, smart algorithms that plot customer demand to help make production decisions and autonomous factories that function on their own and oversee their own maintenance.
With the right strategy and protections in place, analytics can help make everything about doing business smoother, more accurate and less wasteful. It adds up to a powerful, technology-driven competitive advantage.