Businesses will always benefit when they embrace technological advances and here we have the round up of the top ten that you should look into in 2018. They may make your job easier, smooth out a complicated process or even save and make you money in the long run.
1 Live social streaming
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all offer free to use live streaming services, allowing you to instantly interact with existing and potential customers. Social media is quickly becoming a popular platform for businesses looking to give their marketing and brand presence a boost. With a live stream, you can do anything from showcase a new product to offering a behind the scenes peek at your business. It makes customers feel included and improves your brand’s reputability.
2 Mobile barcode scanning
For businesses who have a warehouse, it’s likely they are always looking for a more efficient way of packaging up orders and getting them out to waiting customers. Mobile barcode scanning is an excellent piece of tech that simplifies inventory management and allows you to ditch the paperwork, speed up the picking process and see data in real time. It allows you to accurately manage stock and can even reduce errors such as mismatched SKUs and incorrect unit counts.
3 3D printing
The manufacturing industry is being revolutionized by 3D printing. It allows businesses the option to customise their orders, offering more of what customers actually want. It can also cut costs in the long run, as prototypes can be made in-house, amended and signed off quicker and easier than ever before. It cuts out the middleman – who is sometimes the biggest expense.
4 Video marketing
When it comes to marketing your brand, consumers no longer want to read lengthy content about a product or news in the industry. They want short, snappy videos that give them everything they need in a matter of seconds. For this, all you need is a high quality camera, good lighting – either find a space with decent natural lighting or invest in a lightbox – then find time to create your video. It could be an interview with an expert, industry update or a product showcase that your audience can engage with.
5 Online business training
Employees no longer need to leave the office to undertake quality training courses now. Instead, you can save money and time by suggesting that they sign up for online training such as LinkedIn’s Lynda platform. You can either allow them to allocate a certain amount of time each month to improve their skills or encourage them to look into these courses in their free time.
6 Better IT security
The past year’s data breaches in major companies – Gmail, Verizon, Equifax and Uber are just a few examples – suggest that security is more important than ever. Cyber breach insurance is an example of tech that businesses should be acquiring to protect themselves and their customers from hackers, with better encryption methods also being employed by many.
7 Project management software
Gone are the days where we filled in paper expense forms and invoices or created complicated spreadsheets on excel to work out costs. Now project management software is acting as a piece of innovative tech that allows businesses to do everything in one place.
Projects can be assigned and monitored, payroll details can be added and managed, communication with clients or other employees can occur all in one place, improving productivity, reducing costs and ensuring everyone has everything in the same place. Software such as Wrike, Booker and Rayco Wylie are all worth looking into.
8 Mobile working
Laptops, smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs are helping businesses, allowing employees to work on the move and never miss a beat. They boost productivity and morale, as people can carry out tasks on the go and even from the comfort of their home if necessary.
9 The Cloud
With seemingly endless storage space, the Cloud is allowing businesses to be more economical and environmentally friendly as well as getting more for their money. Data storage can now be kept completely online and websites can be hosted on private servers based on the Cloud. No need for costly servers, large data centers or maintenance on these.
10 Video and teleconference calls
Saving time and money, video and teleconference calls are an excellent way of keeping in touch with team members and clients located in different locations. There’s no need to pay out for travel or accommodation costs and everyone can talk directly or even face to face. Free services such as Skype or Google Hangouts are the easiest to use and most people have an account.