Business Success Is Impossible Without Technology. Here’s Why!
Imagine running a business without a single piece of technology, not even a smartphone. The thought alone would make any aspiring or seasoned business owner cringe.
The business world has come a long way since pen and paper ledgers. It’s come so far that businesses can’t function without a computer at the very least.
Recent statistics reveal that more than 200 million consumers shop online per year in the U.S. alone; combine this stat with over 2 billion global online shoppers, and you have an undeniable case for the role of technology in business.
How does technology build, empower, and grow companies?
Let’s take a closer look at the innovations that make today’s businesses possible.
Why Computers Are Essential for Business
Computers were barely hitting the business scene in the late 1970’s. Who would have imagined five decades ago that owning a computer would be more important for business than owning a landline?
The 1980’s saw an influx of business computers; this technological shift revolutionized production, innovation, management, and customer acquisition. By the early 1990’s, computers were fully mainstreamed into business life, as careers in computers and information technology exploded in tandem.
Business owners and professionals originally depended on computers for word processing, data entry, record-keeping, and a dial-up connection. Today’s computers can handle even more tasks, including automated marketing, VoIP calling, digital illustration, advanced accounting, live streaming, conferencing, website coding, app building, and scheduling.
Lightweight business laptops connect to high-speed WiFi in seconds, enabling fast transactions, communication, and processing. All-in-one laptops let solo entrepreneurs and digital nomads work from any internet-connected cafe or library in the world.
Computers aren’t just for administrative tasks, either. Computers are essential for conceptualizing and designing logos, brand identity, products, and marketing strategies. Graphic designers, 3D modelers, and marketing directors all need reliable computers to do their jobs.
Computers are also crucial for customer service, one of the most vital pieces of business success.
Happy customers increase customer lifetime value (CLV), and excellent CLV rates lead to long-term business success. Your employees and customer support agents need fast, reliable computers to respond to customer inquiries quickly. Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs also need computers to communicate with clients.
Don’t forget about in-person customer service! Computer POS systems replaced antique cash registers by the 1980’s. These computers let associates input and calculate prices, apply discounts, adjust inventory counts, look up items, process credit cards, run sales reports, and more.
Rest assured, you don’t have to exhaust your entire budget on business computers. Learn more about saving money on laptops, so you can enjoy the latest operating systems and apps.
The Role of Smartphones in Business
The slow death of the landline telephone also ushered in the era of the smartphone.
Smartphones are nothing like their predecessors or even the cell phones of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Today’s smartphones are more like mini computers, featuring operating systems, business apps, project management apps, office suites, audio recorders, filmmaking capabilities, and more programs you would find on a computer.
If you’re a one-person show, you could feasibly run an entire business from one smartphone alone. Both iPhones and Android phones have apps for processing payments, designing websites, facilitating conferences, marketing, making videos, creating shipping labels, and more business essentials.
Large corporations rely on smartphones to connect with global partners, monitor big accounts, manage collaboration, and communicate with clients. Since sensitive data is often shared on devices, corporations need enterprise mobility strategies to safeguard security, data, and devices. Enterprise mobility smartphones are strictly for work and separate from employees’ personal devices.
Most smartphones sync up with desktop computers and laptops, as well. Connect your smartphone to your computer with a compatible USB cord. You should be able to transfer all business files from your phone to your computer’s hard drive.
Some business apps let users connect to computers through wireless internet. For example, you could out print an important spreadsheet in your office while attending a conference down the hall.
Smartphones give new meaning to the term “multitasking,” but let’s take an even closer look at the apps behind the best smartphones for business.
Office Suite Apps
Let’s start with your basic essentials. Every business computer and smartphone needs an office suite.
Microsoft is the originator of office suite products, but other companies have since created their own office suites, like Google, Libre, and WPS.
At the bare minimum, every office software “suite” comes with word processing, spreadsheets, and slide presentations. Some office suites also come with notetaking apps and database management apps.
You can purchase office software separately for your business desktop or laptop computer. However, most new laptops come with an office suite installed, usually Microsoft Office if the computer is a PC. Google Chromebooks come with Google’s office apps, for example.
Project Management Apps
Office suite apps help you tackle document creation, but project management apps empower you to take a whole project by the reigns.
Managing a project is tougher than it looks. You have to set goals and deadlines, delegate tasks, oversee production, communicate with other departments, and provide feedback. You can’t do that without technology!
Fortunately, you can use project management apps like Slack and Trello to plan, monitor, and deliver project tasks. These apps facilitate live chats, file transfers, project management, group segmentation, and conferencing. You can also create secret project groups to safeguard sensitive information.
The Power of the Web
Computers transformed the business scene, but the internet completely turned it on its head.
As soon as the internet fell into everyday consumers’ hands, a new business era began. Major business industries like marketing, retail, and entertainment discovered groundbreaking ways to harness the power of the internet. Web design services started popping up, and users began building communities with people from every corner of the world.
This early internet activity laid the foundation for eCommerce, social media, blogging, and internet marketing. All this innovation was happening on dial-up internet, no less!
Eventually, consumers traded in their snails paced dial-up connections for faster cable, satellite, and DSL internet. High-speed internet really put the web in overdrive. Within seconds, someone from rural Utah could connect and collaborate with a complete stranger in Japan.
Clever internet entrepreneurs capitalized on the “wild wild west” days of the early web by creating monetized informational websites in droves. These early websites and site directories were the precursors to Google and the SEO industry. Early web entrepreneurs were making millions in advertising by optimizing short domains and dominating search engine results.
Before long, digital marketing began replacing traditional marketing techniques, like local print ads and TV commercials. Pay-per-click internet marketing opened up a world of advertising possibilities for small and struggling businesses.
Pay-per-click ads only graze the surface of digital marketing.
Here are more ways digital marketing technology impacts business:
Social Media Management
There isn’t just one origin story for social media. Some tech scholars credit Mark Zuckerberg for ushering in the real social media evolution, while others argue that social media started with Myspace and early internet forums. Whatever story you prefer, one thing is clear: the business impact of social media is undeniable.
Social media is a content entry point for so many consumers. Billions of people worldwide get their news directly from Facebook, while other consumers purchase outfits straight from Instagram. Every like, share, and comment also inspires a domino effect of engagement.
Social media has limitless potential for sales, marketing, and brand awareness, but you need tools to enjoy the full business potential of these platforms.
Enter social media management apps!
There are several top-rated SMM platforms on the market. Some platforms have wider compatibility with others, so make sure your chosen management tool is compatible with your preferred accounts.
Social media management apps may have varying user interfaces, but the general principles are the same. These apps allow users to monitor activity, engage with other users, schedule content, and plan marketing strategies. You can also manage multiple accounts from one dashboard, enabling more efficient multitasking.
SMM management tools are ideal for Twitter and Facebook, while Instagram has stricter protocols in place for synced management tools. These tools aren’t necessary for YouTube, and they aren’t always compatible with Pinterest.
If you’re planning on making a YouTube marketing strategy, you can monitor your analytics from YouTube’s studio dashboard. You can also upload and edit directly from the app.
However, you don’t have to use YouTube’s editing tools. There are plenty of top-rated video-editing apps with more features than YouTube Studio. If you’re planning on uploading animations, you’ll need a more sophisticated software.
Don’t Underestimate the Role of Technology in Business
Running a business without technology is a recipe for disaster. Embrace the role of technology in business to enjoy greater brand awareness, sales, and cultural impact.
Technology is constantly evolving. Follow the blog to stay updated on the latest industry news, trends, and changes.