As a self-proclaimed geek, I get asked this quite a lot. What is the most important part of a successful business? I’m sure most people who ask this question expect the answer to be, the technology you’re using. I can understand why people would think this. It’s true that tech does play a vital part in whether or not your business is successful. To examine this question, we’ll start there, with the tech.
I want you to imagine, for a moment, two companies. One is running Windows 10 with all the latest updates on a completely, connected network. The other is stuck on Windows 97. Does anyone remember Windows 97? It was ridiculously slow and a nightmare to use, compared to today’s standards. Now let’s think about which business would come out on top in the modern industry. I think you would agree that it’s highly likely the Windows 10 business would succeed. They would have a faster operating system, and this would allow the business to get more done throughout the day.
As well as this, we can assume that the company using Windows 10 has modern computers. Simply because Windows 10 wouldn’t run on older models, at least not effectively. Therefore, we can also assume that the modern business is also cheaper to run. The reason? Modern computers are built to save energy. You might have noticed that they don’t get quite as hot as older models. You’d be surprised how much money a computer running Windows 97 would cost you per year with today’s energy prices. Therefore, this example also highlights the benefits tech brings when thinking about how to save money in your company. But it doesn’t end there.
Technology can also help you create a positive perception and opinion of your business. I recently posted about using holograms at business conferences. I think we can all agree that hologram presentations are quite impressive. If you want to show your business is part of the modern world, this would be the way to do it. You’ll certainly be adding interest to your business if you utilize this type of technology. At the same time, however, you will have to weigh up how useful this tech is in comparison to the price. There’s no point investing in expensive technology if older, cheaper forms of marketing will do the trick. Now, we see that there are other factors deciding a company’s success outside the realms of technology. One possibility to consider is marketing.
Using marketing is almost cheating as these days both marketing and promotion includes a lot of technology. For instance, you could think about AR technology. AR technology again is impressive. It’s a way of showing off a finished product in a virtual world. The marketing possibilities are almost endless. At the same time, however, it’s difficult to ignore the forms of marketing that are still effective and do not rely on tech.
Billboard ads are an example of this. Using billboard ads, you can catch the attention of people passing by. You will often see them around tradeshows. Companies are eager to get the attention of investors before they even enter the hall. They do this by purchasing billboard space.
Or, how about handing out fliers. Handing out fliers doesn’t involve any tech, but it can still be effective. Particularly, if you are promoting a local business like a shop on the high street. There’s no need for impressive tech displays when you get customers through the shop door by handing out attractive pieces of paper.
Then, you could consider the possibility of guerilla marketing. Again, it doesn’t have to include the use of technology. In fact, the success of guerilla marketing is more to do with the people working behind the campaign. If you have a great staff, your marketing campaign will be effective, no matter what tech you may or may not be using. This demonstrates two points. First, as important as technology is in business your marketing campaign plays a part as well. Second the success of your company also relies on your employees.
It’s impossible to think about whether or not a company is successful without considering efficiency. Efficiency simply refers to getting as much done possible to a quality standard at the lowest price. It’s true that company efficiency is partially related to the tech you’re using. Particularly, in today’s tech-obsessed world. But you also need to think about your staff. It will be up to your staff to provide a product or service customers want or need. Your staff need to be producing this product as quickly as possible. You can help this process by ensuring that your staff are well trained. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the individual and what level of work they are providing your business.
It’s not just about efficiency. Similar to the tech you use, your staff are going to affect your customer’s opinions of your business. The way they act will have a significant impact. It’s why on shop floors employers are desperate to ensure their staff are polite and responsive. If they’re not, it might make a customer think twice about coming back to the store. If you want your business to be successful, you need to think about increase productivity of your employees. This will take more than simply providing them with the right tech.
Ultimately, though, I always answer the question with the same answer. It’s not up to your tech to make your business success. The responsibility and the fate of your business falls squarely on your shoulders. You need to make sure that your company is in the right position to win. It’s your choice what tech you invest in and how much you spend on marketing. It’s your decision whether you use resources to get your staff trained. All these little parts of your business form the bigger picture, and they are all under your control. No one has more power over whether your business succeeds or fails than you.