Businesses that do not keep up with the times are in serious risk of losing credibility with tech-minded clientele, losing a professional appearance, or losing time and money to counter-productive, dated methods. Recognizing the need to maintain updated technology can make employees lives much easier and task completion rates high. Strategic, regular assessments of one's business plan are crucial, as products and services must resonate with clients' current and future needs. Think of how many technology companies have been accelerated by planning ahead and being forward-thinking in their offerings. Apple and Google sit on the cutting edge of electronics, environmental awareness, and web solutions. Create a world-class experience by examining these three ways to build your business toward the future.
1. Makeover a business location
A storefront or office should be memorable, and like the company logo, a business location's appearance should convey the mission and culture. Consider the large-scale Fender amp storefront for Gibson Guitar, which evokes feelings of vintage flair. It's eye-catching paint design and 3D knobs and switches make the Gibson Guitar Store a landmark in Southampton, England. Apple Stores worldwide are known for their minimalistic wood, metal, and stone designs, leading to over $6,000 per square foot in each of their monumental homes to technology.
Business owners do not need to reinvent the wheel to give their office a makeover. Electronic signs can draw attention to an office or retail store's offerings, by conveying a brief and effective message. New signage can bring greater visibility to a business, inform the community, remind old clientele of a company's presence, and bring in new foot traffic. Redesign logos for email correspondences and web use. Consider repainting a storefront facade, remove dust and grime from furnishings, and tidy up.
2. Technology refresh
Printers that are falling apart and point of sale systems held together by tape do not convey professionalism. Companies looking to expand by hiring new talent must run current technologies to attract competitive employees and skills. Create a technology refresh strategy and discuss current and future systems with business stakeholders. Compile the numbers and see how much efficiency is sacrificed by running old generation operating systems, software, and hardware. Keep up-to-date with business technology news, have an eye on meaningful changes that can hearken greater earnings.
Employees who work on specialized projects, such as graphic design or film work, require robust processing speeds, hard drive space, and more RAM than a typical office worker. As companies grow to include greater software licensing, more devices, and newer technologies, hiring IT becomes more crucial. Whether a company uses in-house technicians or outside consultants, new technology needs to be maintained with backups, scheduled updates, and troubleshooting.
3. Go paperless
Back in 1971, Michael Hart embarked on a monumental shift in archival, by founding an organization called Project Gutenberg. It is the oldest digital archive, hosting over 40,000 books for the public to access. Volunteers for Project Gutenberg laboriously scanned some of the world's greatest works into Hart's collection.
Jump ahead several decades, and the same concept has been adopted by hundreds of businesses everywhere. From public libraries offering digital checkouts to environmentally minded offices using digital invoices and advertisements, the benefits of paperless life are significant. One item of continual concern has been the bank statement, a document that may get lost in the mail or fall into the wrong hands. Businesses now have the option of sending invoices, collecting payments, transferring funds, and monitoring bank accounts digitally. As popularity rises, more banks use paperless methods as a way to draw tech-savvy clientele. Capital One 360, formerly known as ING Direct, is heralded for their paperless approach. Companies that trend toward less paper clutter cut printing overheads and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Customers will care about these factors more as we head into the future.