The winds of change are blowing for 2014. There are all sorts of projections floating around that the market may go up, but it could go down too. People may, or may not, invest in infrastructure in 2014, and it is very possible that business could increase, or… it could decrease.
Ultimately, we don’t know. There are some things that we just can’t control. What we can control are what steps we plan on taking in the New Year to improve the way we do things and the tools we use to make those plans a reality.
A New Year, A New Set of Tools
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get your company up to speed in the technology market, now is the time to be on the lookout to evaluate your solutions.
There are some things you need to ask yourself.
Q. Why is technology important?
A. Remember when your mom asked you, “if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Well, in this case, jumping off the bridge with everyone else is a good thing.
There is a shift in how people are running their businesses. There is some level of expectation that they should be able to interact with technology. If you aren’t sending emails and you don’t have a website, you could be missing out on a decent amount of business.
You might also be in need of some technology to help manage your customers and projects. By now, there’s no question: if you use it right, it leads to efficiency and that adds money to YOUR bottom line.
Q. How do I change from paper to electronic?
A. The best way to make the change while having the smallest impact on your employees is to find the most direct transition. If you’re working on a white board and with filing cabinets, you need to find a system that will allow you to keep a similar process while using the same jargon and by recreating the existing workflow.
For instance, if you take down information on a predefined paper form, you should look for a way to keep the same form and fill it out digitally. Try to keep the look and the wording the same.
Likewise, if you’re used to putting all relevant documents in a file for a customer, find a way for you to do the same thing digitally. If you have a way that a job moves from a lead into production, make sure you do the same things, just digitally.
Q. What would be the best piece of technology to start with?
A. Naturally, a CRM! Most people carry a smartphone, most folks have computers in their business, so getting used to using a system in the winter (when things traditionally slow down a bit) is a great help to get everyone on board.
Imagine walking into a customer site and logging everything in real time on a phone or tablet, then having it instantly update in the office! You can take and store pictures and have a project manager look at it just moments after. You can close a lead and move it to the next stage without having to run back and “check your calendar.”
January is a great time to consider how to make changes in the year to come. It gives you some time to consider a solution and to get it implemented before things really kick into gear. Move now, get your solution and training set up, and prepare for an awesome 2014 with technology on your side.