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The Digital Revolution – How your business will be affected in the next 5 years!

How can this information change your life?

The Digital Revolution is defined on Wikipedia this way:

“The Digital Revolution is the change from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital electronics which began anywhere from the late 1950s to the late 1970s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and digital record keeping that continues to the present day.” – Wikipedia

The Internet, Websites, Smart Phones, Social Media, Cloud Based Software, the list goes on and on. The Digital Revolution has affected every area of our life. Recently I was purchasing a new washer and dryer set for our home and I was looking at the WIFI settings. That’s right WIFI settings on a washer and dryer!

Understanding how to leverage digital technology in your business is a critical component of keeping your company on the path of influencing revenue to grow. Failure to execute a digital strategy will result in the businesses failure and that is why this post can change your business and your life.

What do we really need to know about this subject?

Digital technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate in human history. In comparison to previous advancements in technology, including the industrial revolution, digital technology is doubling on average every 2-years. Therefore, the Digital Revolution is estimated to have 3000 times more of an impact on future generations then all the other advancement in previous technologies in all the previous generations combined.

What is going to happen in the next 5-years?

  • Software is going to continue to be the unique selling proposition for many businesses. This means that the company that adopts the best software and uses it to bring their products and services to market faster, cheaper and more consistently is going to be 100 times more profitable then their competition.
  • Hardware is going to make a huge leap forward to catch up with the advancement of software. This means that the devices you use everyday are going to completely change on a scale not seen since the 1980’s when computers were being revolutionized every few years.
  • Self-Driving Vehicles will enter the marketplace, this technology will disrupt several industry’s including taxi’s, UBER, bus, train, boat, heavy truck & trailer and more…
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become commercial, every executive in the world will have a personal AI assistant, this will change the executive assistant positions in companies and have an impact on the virtual assistant industry.
  • Robots are going to enter the marketplace for personal use. This is equivalent to the 1980’s when computers began being produced for personal home use.
  • Massive Change in the Workplace. Millions of Baby Boomers (those born between post-WWII and 1964) will exit the workplace, Generation X (those born between 1964 and 1979) and Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1998) have already begun taking over senior management positions and Generation Z (those born after 1998) will enter the workplace. How does digital technology factor into this? Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z all use digital technology and each generation is exponentially more set on integrating digital technology into every aspect of the business to increase productivity, freedom and flexibility. Also, your customers from those generations will not even look at your business if it is not up-to-date with current digital technology standards.

To be successful your business NEEDS to have a digital strategy. This includes using technology to make your business operate more efficiently and a strong digital marketing strategy.

In life, you DO NOT NEED to update your smart phone every 6 months or spend yourself into financial oblivion trying to keep up. If you take a balanced approach, in business and life to technology you will be much happier. Less can be more when it comes to digital technology if you are choosing the right technology.

What step by step action do we need to take?

Step 1 – Perform a SWOT analysis. Take an inventory of the technology you are currently using. Is it generating adequate return on investment? What are the strengths of your current strategy, what are the weaknesses, where are the opportunities and what threats are facing your business?

Step 2 – Research your competitors. What kind of digital marketing are they doing? Where have they invested in technology to improve their operations? More importantly what are they not doing? Answering this question is where you will find your greatest opportunity to influence your revenue.

Step 3 – Plan and act. This is so critical I can’t emphasize it enough. Many clients I work with are so overwhelmed by all the options available and the constant wave of new options coming at them that they either do nothing or try to do everything and in the end, accomplish nothing. It is far better to do a couple things well then to fail to act.

What resources are available today for small business?

This list is not exhaustive but for the small business owner these are just a few of the resources that I have used to influence my revenue to grow and I feel are essential to business success:

  • Website – Talk to Gerrit at Trackstar Web Design and have them build you a custom website that meets your needs. If you cannot afford to hire a designer, then I recommend using Wix to build a WYSIWYG website. Anyone can do it using this platform and it is cheap. It is template based so the performance and UX score will not be as good as a professionally built site by Track Star but it is better then doing nothing at all.
  • Social Media – Pick one or two platforms that your audience uses regularly and focus on that. Currently I am focusing on Facebook and Linked In but your business might demand Snapchat or Instagram. You must understand your audience and use what they are using. Don’t try to do them all. If you want to take your social selling to the next level talk to our friend Kurt Lohmann at Engaged.
  • Buffer – This allows you to schedule your social media posts and have them released over a period of a few hours or days.
  • ZOHO – Every business should be using a CRM software and we recommend ZOHO because it is a CRM with many add on options.
  • QuickBooks – Every business should be using accounting software and QuickBooks has a cloud based solution which allows you to access your software anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Google – The Google platform or G-Suite is awesome and is very affordable at $5 a month per user. It includes features like Google Calendar which is an essential tool.
  • MailChimp – This is an email campaign platform for beginners. There are other options available as you become more sophisticated but MailChimp will get you started.
  • Survey Monkey – This is a digital survey that you can create and send to your customers, suppliers and others for feedback or to test a new idea.
  • Fiverr – This is a great place to get started with virtual assistants. For as little as $6 you can get people from all over the world to bid on doing design work, social media, websites and other digital work.

The world is going to continue to change at (for some) an alarming rate. You on the other hand can take advantage of all the changes by doing what you can to prepare now, developing a digital strategy and continuously updating that strategy as the digital technology makes its dramatic march toward the future.

Author: Jamie Irvine

Jamie Irvine is the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and a sales consultant that works with manufacturers, distributors, and SaaS companies serving the heavy-duty truck parts industry.

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