(Time to read this important article is about 90 seconds)
Clients around the world keep telling me that running a business today is 10 times tougher than it used to be…and in many ways they’re right. We all have more demanding customers, more and stronger competition, increased complexity, shrinking margins, and the challenge of attracting and keeping top talent. So, ‘yes’ in some ways running a business is more challenging than ever. But in many other ways running a business today is easier than ever before…and it’s all about ‘technology’.
As you look to technology to give you the competitive advantage you need it will be useful not to lump ‘technology’ into one big confusing mess, but rather to examine how technology can help you in each specific area and function of your business.
Set aside one hour to sit down with some of the best minds in your business, or department, and use the 8-point checklist below to explore the possibilities. Where do you need to improve the technologies that you’re already using…and where do you need to embrace completely new technologies?
Seek expert help where you need it. Every business should have two or more trusted technology ‘heroes’ to keep them ahead of the pack in every part of their business. And remember, you’re looking for technology ‘heroes’ with a successful track record…not people who would ‘love to give it a try’. Depending on the size and complexity of your business these expert ‘heroes’ may be full-time employees, or outside experts who you ‘rent’ as needed.
So, here’s your checklist of where technology can bring you the competitive advantage you need to thrive in 2018 and beyond. Decide which of these has possibilities for you and then create an Action Plan to make it happen. Specifically, what will be done, by whom, by when, measured how?
As part of this process, you should make a clear decision as to whether your business will be a technology leader, a quick and nimble follower…or a late adopter who will likely not survive. Life is full of choices. Note: Some of these 8 technology ‘possibilities’ may not apply to your business …but many will.
- Technologies that will help you design and create new and better products and / or services that will give you a clear competitive advantage.
- The equipment, systems and process technologies that allow you to operate, control and manage every aspect of your business more effectively…and / or with higher and more consistent quality.
- Technologies that help you more efficiently listen to, understand, engage with and respond to existing customers, prospects and key influencers, as a group and individually, in order to promote your compelling value message.
- Technologies that allow you to market and sell your products or services to a broader range of customers, or to give existing customers an alternative, more efficient or more convenient way to buy from you.
- The technologies of logistics that will help you more quickly, efficiently, accurately and individually deliver your products, services or experiences.
- Technologies that help you operate in a more environmentally responsible, less wasteful and more sustainable way.
- The technology of researching industry ‘best practices’ and emerging new business models throughout the world, without leaving your desk. This one is easy…it’s called Google searches through which you can study competitive websites and articles, discover who in your industry is doing innovative new things…and what disruptive new business models could become your new worst enemy.
- Any other technologies that could change, disrupt or threaten your specific industry or market.
Note: If your business or Industry Association is currently planning its 2018 Management Conference, we’ll be delighted to chat with you about how my bottom-line insights on management, marketing, employee engagement and profitability can be helpful. I’m easily reached at 416-252-3703 in Toronto…or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.