As a reader of the Small Biz Survival blog, you probably noticed the diversity of topics covered. There are lots of areas where the business owner needs to have an understanding and consider when aiming for success.
One topic not mentioned lately is technology. One of the last mentions was an article Becky did on using an iPad as a point-of-sale system. And in some articles on marketing, I have mentioned social media and email as marketing tools you need.
But as I was scanning new material recently, I came across this story: The dishwasher orders the detergent when needed.
The article just got me thinking about opportunities and threats that this new technology world is bringing.
I hear a lot about the “Internet of Things (IoT).” Friends have thermostats in their home that allows them to monitor and operate it and calls them if the home gets too cold. Recently, there was a video security system at my in-laws. I could watch it from my smartphone and more sophisticated systems do even more. Plus smartphones can be your television remote, turn on lights and the coffee maker, and monitor your pet’s (and your own) activity.
So change is coming. So what?
The “what” that my mind focused on was the opportunities and threats this change could mean.
Having dishwasher detergent ordered and delivered to a client’s home may have just taken away your sale. It may have meant one less person coming into your store. I may buy more now online since the detergent has to be delivered anyway. My loyalty begins to change as convenience wins me over.
At the same time, however, opportunities are opening for your business. People still like to work directly with others. We still like knowing who we are dealing with especially if there is a problem. Also, the technology available to you is increasingly sophisticated. While many of these systems were once only seen on the “Jetson’s” (a 1960’s television cartoon), today those things are now real. Those thermostats that call you before your house and water pipes might freeze? There are local service firms taking those calls today. And why can’t your business be the one called when detergent is needed (or milk when the refrigerator calls)?
The rapid advancement of technology is not stopping. As a small-business owner, you can change and adapt to it or you can let it take your customers away. Make it an opportunity.
- About the Author
- Latest by this Author
Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.