When you are outlining your business model for 2015, it’s important to consider how your plans for the next year affect the overall future of your business. As technological innovations continue to change the face of business, it’s important to plan ahead for the future before it comes. The corporate practices of yesterday will quickly become outdated, so bring cutting-edge practices to your business before they arrive at your competition’s doorstep, leaving you in the dust. As Accenture says in their study of 2014 technology trends, “For business leaders everywhere, the next three years will be about determining their organizations’ pace in this digital race—and their place in the new world of digital” (via Accenture).
When you begin to plan your business model for 2015, stay ahead of the game and integrate the tools of tomorrow today. But how do you create a 2016 business model for 2015? We’re here to let you in on some secrets.
Innovation relies on creativity that uses technologies in new ways. Look to your competition to see what they are doing, and take it one step ahead. For example, perhaps your competition has begun taking orders with tablets at their restaurant or uses mobile POS payments to take payments on the go, so look to see how you can take orders from customers via Bluetooth or initiate online ordering connected to social media channels or through sales software apps. Don’t wait to take on the practices of others, think one step ahead to how you can use the same tools to do something entirely different.
Look for tools that build automation
There are plenty of apps and programs that can automate virtually every aspect of your business, saving you time, manpower, and budget. Think of what tasks you or your employees do that could be done with a program, and instantly cut those out. Can your accounting, data-entry, or scheduling be automated? Good, then start there. Automate every task you don’t need employee oversight for to use your resources for necessary tasks.
Get into the cloud.
Businesses in any sector can – and should – be using the cloud. If you haven’t already made the switch, the time is now. The cloud can benefit you no matter what sector you work in – look at medical professionals who use the cloud to store patient information or big corporations who sync data across the entire company and then implement separate, smaller clouds for separate teams. Joining the cloud improves your data security and, most importantly, your company’s mobility.
Being mobile is key so that your employees are not only synced across devices but able to complete the same work tasks they do in the office no matter where they are. Look for apps and programs that help your employees complete work tasks – such as live meetings or catalog inventory – no matter where they are.
Of course, integrating these tools in 2015 requires planning now. Outline your budget and commit to investing in the technologies of tomorrow because it’s a necessity to be at the digital forefront of your industry, and today, too often technology is advancing faster than companies can keep up. Don’t wait to integrate vital digital tools - do it now before it’s too late.