Have you watched The Internship? It is about two watch salesmen (played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) who got laid off because their services have been rendered obsolete by technology. Realising that they need a skills upgrade and a new job, the pair went on to score an internship at Google and hilarity ensues.
While it was pretty funny to watch the two characters struggle to keep up with the changes, it is not as hilarious in reality. Employees who could not keep up with technological advancements are usually left with limited options and businesses who cannot adapt go bust. Of course, there are exceptions but are you willing to take that risk as a business owner?
Most of the time, we find that business owners avoid IT tools simply because they are not familiar with it. But hey, that is what IT support companies like Computer Guys exist, right? And trust us, a little bit of IT can do wonders for your business.
You save costs
The most obvious benefit of integrating IT into your business is that you will cut down on manpower costs. For instance, some restaurants here are using IT tools like iPad menus which allow customers to place their orders without needing a waiter to attend to them. Not only does this save some time and frustration for the customers, it also helps the restaurant owner to save some costs as lesser manpower is needed.
Knowing how to use IT also enables you to do more targeted advertising as it allows more flexible arrangements. You can make sure that your advertisement reaches only your target audience and can even prompt them to take immediate action. Advertising on platforms such as Google Adwords, Facebook or even blogs will help businesses to drastically stretch their advertising dollar compared to just taking out an advertising space on traditional media platforms.
Another thing that technology has helped to change is the sourcing of funds. The usual method is to go to banks for loans or meet up with investors to get funds. Now, entrepreneurs can simply turn to crowdsourcing websites for that. Some might even find it easier to gather funds this way as potential investors can pledge any amount they want, from as low as just $1.
If IT tools can help you to complete tasks faster, why not? Yes, it is true that some of these tools can seem rather costly at first but if you work it out, these tools will pay for themselves in the long run.
Also, certain tasks can be left to the machines (i.e: iPad ordering menu), thereby allowing your staff members to concentrate on other more urgent matters. Your customers will be happier with the improved service and your employees will thank you.
More effective publicity
You would be hard-pressed to find an established brand without a Facebook page these days. And there is a good reason for it too. Social media allows brands to have greater interaction with their customers, which means that new product information can be disseminated easily and any grievances can be addressed quickly (i.e: When products are fully redeemed or sold out). Not only that, the nature of social media also allows for real-time marketing which can be brilliant, like what Oreo did during the Super Bowl blackout.
With social media, brands will also get the flexibility to tailor their publicity efforts for different target audiences on different platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Read more about how to get your business heard on these platforms here and here.
…and other pleasant surprises
The integration of IT is unique to each business. This, coupled with the constant development of IT tools can result in some interesting outcomes, and there is no way you will know of it unless you have tried it out for yourself.
Just take Google Maps for instance. I am pretty sure the company did not think that the Google Street View function would help to rescue a stray dog that has been wandering the streets for a decade!