The way things are going with technology it seems like more and more industries are falling victim to technological evolution. 5 years ago, could you have predicted that Blockbuster would be closing the majority of their stores? Many people could have, but for some reason most people still seem surprised. The reason I wanted to write about this is simple, as a business owner you have to stay alert and understand that technology will affect your business at some point, regardless of your industry.
Going out of business sale is not the sign business owners want to put up, even though it seems to bring people in the doors, it is for all the wrong reasons. Recently I noticed that some of the major book stores are closing their doors. I have overheard and had numerous conversations with people that believe that bookstores would always be around. Yet here we are where you can´t walk into a coffee shop or other public places without seeing people with an e-reader of some sort.
So what is the trend becoming? Do these people go to the bookstore, then go on their reader and see if those books are available on their readers? If not, do they then purchase the actual paper copy? Of course they don´t. Now they walk into the coffee shop of their choice, make their coffee at home and sit down and simply browse through what books are available. Automated suggestions of what you may like based on previous purchases, new and exciting releases, and highest rated books and so on and so forth. It is easier than ever to find a book you may actually like or would want to read.
What does this mean to you as a business owner? Why do you need to be aware of this change and what is really going on in front of our eyes? Because it means that people are doing more and more shopping online. With a staggering 68% of people going online to find a service or product provider, regardless of what service or product they are looking for, you need to embrace technology. You need to make sure that those people can find you and want to do business with you. It does not matter if you are a plumber, consultant, coffee shop or florist, if people cannot find you online, your chances of getting that business just went down 68%!
Now we are not saying that word of mouth and other marketing does not work. Referrals from current clients are still the best future clients and the best way to pick up new clients. The reality on the other hand is that without technology you will slowly become a dinosaur! With expectations getting higher in the virtual world you basic websites that used to work 10 years ago do not seem to hack it either. You brand is now being built online, or it is being slowly torn down. Think about what your website really says about your business? Did you have your uncle create it just because he took a class at the local community college or did you work with a professional that understands what it takes not just to build a website, but to build something that helps your business?
In the modern world of business and marketing, you can either embrace technology, embrace online marketing or you can slowly become a dinosaur. The question is then no longer if you will go out of business but rather when, no matter what industry you are in. Think about your industry; think about what you do, it is fairly simple to imagine how you will fall behind without the technology.