In the future, your coffee may soon be made and delivered by your favorite robot barista. Wait… you can have it now by visiting CafeX in the Metreon shopping complex in San Francisco (as of January 2017). And it costs less than a human barista making the same quality coffee at Starbucks, Peets or the other leading coffee chains.Read More
This is just the beginning of Digital Transformation. And this technology shift is transforming every industry in the world - tech, healthcare, travel, entertainment, retail, auto, media, financial services... think Netflix, Airbnb and Uber. Now more than ever before, every business needs to focus on their digital workplace and transform the way they work to survive and thrive.
Watch our short video (above) and see what seven thought leaders are saying about Digital Transformation. Then check out more expert industry leader quotes below.Read More
We are currently undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime big, fast, technology shift that will transform every industry and business in the world over the next three to five years. This megatrend is called Digital Transformation.
It’s evolving at warp speed - at a pace that none of us have ever experienced… and this is just the beginning.Read More
Have you ever dreamed about working from the beach on a nice sunny day? Recently, I was drinking my coffee in the morning and using my iPhone to check appointments for the day. I heard on the radio that it was going to be 90 degrees by mid-day. When I checked my emails, I saw that a meeting after lunch was rescheduled... so I started thinking about that 90 degrees and remembered that one of our local beaches in Half Moon Bay, California had a very good wireless data signal from AT&T (seriously, don't laugh).Read More
Are you looking for new ways to increase sales this year? Have you thought about adding more videos to your website? Video technology is one of the top 10 latest technologies that will increase business sales this year.
Video marketing is a hot fast-growing trend in all companies. Why? You can thank YouTube, Tablets and Smartphones for the explosion in video interest and content over the last 2-3 years.Read More
The other day I was browsing the Zendesk website to learn more about their Customer Service / Help Desk solution for one of our clients. As part of my review, I always look at the jobs postings (to see how fast a company is growing) and also scan the company Youtube videos. I came across their recruiting video called "This is Zendesk." I didn't plan on watching the whole thing. However, the more I watched, the more I liked it. The video sucked me in, bit by bit. After watching, I called over my business partner to watch it and give me her opinion.
We both thought it was great and walked away being very impressed with the company and the people. If I was looking for a job, I would have wanted to work there... all from a simple video.
The job market for top people is getting more and more competitive. There are so many bad companies to work for out there.
After watching this video, you too may want to work at Zendesk. .... or you can produce one of these videos for your own company today.
So, one of the Secrets to finding and hiring Top People is to... Produce a fun low-budget recruiting video about working at your company.
Please comment with any other great company videos that would get a new employee excited to work for your company.
In 2013, there is a much larger opportunity than in the last few years for non-technology oriented Small Businesses to implement the latest technology. All of them will help you increase your sales and/or reduce your costs. In addition, technology prices have dropped like a rock and they are so much easier to use (and learn) than ever before. This article was written for the non-technical owner or manager of a Home or Small Business.
Here are the 10 Key Small Business Trends:
Marketing Videos are being Added to Websites to Increase Sales Leads These days, most prospects want to watch a short 30- to 90-second video about your products or services on your website. Many don't have time to read a long white paper or product description during their first visit to your site. You can thank the use of YouTube and Smartphones for this change. The good news is that the cost of creating videos has dramatically gone down in the last few years. You can create them yourself or hire professionals to publish them. This will reduce your cost of Sales and Marketing and increase the number of your Sales / Marketing Presentations to prospects over the next 12 months.
Lead Nurturing Programs are Increasing Sales Prospects while Reducing the Cost of the Lead Process Send (or Scan) all Leads including: Trade Show Leads, Business Cards and Paper Lead Forms into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System or a dedicated "Marketing Automation" system. You can then use "Lead Nurturing" Campaigns to better qualify sales leads before sending them to expensive outside Sales / Account Managers. Sales and Marketing Productivity both go up.
Smartphones are Replacing Basic (Feature) Phones I know many Small Business Owners don't believe this. However, a Smartphone is NOT a "Nice to Have" product anymore. It is a "Need to Have" It's simple... If your competition have Smartphones and you don't, you will be less responsive to your customers and you will lose sales over time. Thanks to eMail, Texting, Instant Messaging, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, you need to respond to your sales prospects and customers much faster than even two years ago. You can also use a Smartphone to process credit card orders in the field. There are several companies that provide Free Apps and Credit Card Readers. Smartphones let you and your employees respond to Customers, Partners, Managers and Prospects as quickly as your Competition... or faster.
Social Marketing is Reducing Telemarketing & List Buying Costs If you are still only using Telemarketing, Buying Cold Call Lists and Sending Paper Mailers, you are missing a lot of sales prospects, spending more money than the competition and falling behind in productivity. If you outsource your telemarketing overseas to save money, you very likely have other issues. Your "under 40" prospects, don't talk as much on the phone as before. It's time to start learning and testing Social Networking... yes Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Blogs and more....
Small Business Applications are Moving from old Client / Servers to Web or "Cloud Computing" If you need to replace or upgrade an old application or computer system this year, you should seriously consider replacing the application with a cloud computing application. The new Cloud Apps are designed to work with the new Smartphones and Tablets. Sales Leads are delivered real-time to your Sales Teams and Channel Partners which will increase the number of sales contacts per day. As a small business, you can also save significant money over the next three years by moving to this newer technology. You can usually reduce your start-up, training and conversion costs for employees. If you are new to Cloud Computing, this article and video should help explain this basics: ABC News Brief Article: "What is the Cloud?" YouTube Short Video: Computer Basics: What is the Cloud?
Web Training Programs will Increase the Professional Skills of your Employees Technology is rapidly changing almost all industries. Some companies are being turned upside down due to these changes. You need to help your people keep up (and get ahead) of all the changes.... or you may NOT be in business in the future. Web-based Training is ideal for remote sales teams working out of their homes or small offices. Affordable Web-based training can now keep your costs down, your peoples' skills up and improve sales productivity.
Web-based Meetings/Events Increase the number of Sales Calls, Demos & Seminars per month Web-based Meetings and Event technology is now used by most larger companies on a daily basis. The cost of Web-based Meetings and Events has dramatically decreased and Small Businesses can now take advantage of this technology. It also reduces their cost of sales significantly. ROI is in months, not years.
iPads are Increasing Sales Productivity A dirty little secret is that many Sales Reps still leave their laptops at home, in the hotel room or in the trunk of a car when they make sales calls. The Tablet is replacing the need to carry around a laptop for everyone. Tablets also lower the cost of training remote staff and laptop maintenance. I recently traveled to Europe for two weeks with an Apple iPhone, iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. It's the first time I ever traveled without my laptop and I never missed it for a minute. One strategy is to keep your old desktops and laptops for another year. Invest in new tablets for your key people this year and run pilot tests on how to improve productivity.
Web Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is Replacing Old PC and Client Server CRM The modern Web-based CRM Systems were developed for the Web / Cloud and Mobile Apps. Older systems just do not work as well with the new Smartphones and Tablets. This increases your maintenance costs and many of the real-time updates are just not available to your employees.
Evaluate Replacing or Supplementing MS Office with Google Office to Reduce Costs & Improve Collaboration Most employees only use 10-25% of the features in Microsoft Office. As more Applications are moving to the Web / Cloud, there is less and less need to buy and upgrade expensive Microsoft Office Applications for everyone in the company. Note: Google Office is less polished and has fewer features when compared to Microsoft Office. Many Small Businesses are moving to Google Office (@ $50 per person per year) or Zoho Office or other solutions to save money, and improve staff, client and partner collaboration.
If you have any questions or comments, please give us a call @or comment in the field below.
Image above courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Please share your comments below on any other key trends that you think are important in 2013.
Are you starting to think about planning for next year? Do you have any feel for the top cost-effective new technology that will boost your company sales and productivity? During the fourth quarter, we asked Small Business Executives, Managers or Owners to share the Top 3-4 NEW Technologies that they were thinking about implementing in 2012. Based on the survey, the following are the top 4 technologies for 2012:
- Upgrading the Company Website with the Latest Technology
- Implementing Smartphones and Tablets
- Testing and Implementing Social Marketing
- Adding Video Content for the Website including: Customer Demos, New Product Announcements, Success Stories and Best Practice Tips
Note: The votes were anonymous and we do NOT collecting any personal info. All poll results are available now.
Please share the poll results with other managers or owners... and add any comments or questions in the comment field below.