When All Businesses Are Tech Businesses, You Need Tech Allies
Technology is changing business – that’s not secret. But for the folks who build or rent forklifts or the ones who design and install landscaping features, technology’s impact may seem like a distant thing. Let Silicon Valley worry about that, many of us think – we’ll just keep focusing on what we do best.
Of course, this isn’t the wisest attitude. As we’ve seen over the past decade, no industry is safe from tech innovation – or tech “disruption.” Industries that seemed old and traditional a few years ago are now full of technological changes and races between apps, innovators, and traditional players. A quick look at taxi and car service companies shows the dangers of ignoring technology’s rapid advance – ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are damaging old-school taxi companies, who are now scrambling to change their ways.
That’s why the people who run trucking companies should pay as much attention to technology as the people who run websites. But how can you be ready for something that you don’t fully understand? Simple: you hire someone who does. You don’t have to stop doing what you do best in order to prepare for technology’s impact on your business, but you do have to acknowledge the importance of the internet. And that can be as simple as outsourcing a few key things.
How to Outsource your Technology needs
No matter what kind of business you are, there are a few things you’ll need. You’ll need a good website. You’ll need a social media presence. You’ll want to monitor your online reviews. You’ll want to make sure that you show up on Google.
Luckily, each and every one of these tasks can be outsourced. One or more companies can handle your web design (and web hosting, and updating your website), your social media accounts, your online reputation management (that’s the reviews), and your search engine optimization (that’s the Google results). You don’t need to know a thing about it yourself: you just need to find a company with a great reputation and hire them to worry about it.
Depending on what industry you’re in, you may also want to think about moving more of your customer service functions online. Don’t just consider how things are done now; consider how they might be done in the future.
Can your trucking company be hired online? How about through an app? No matter how old-school your industry is, you can bet that some Silicon Valley hotshot is looking for ways to “disrupt it” (in fact, the more old-school your industry is, the more likely it is that someone is going to try to disrupt it). Think about how easily Uber and Lyft took over; then imagine how hard it would have been for them to do so if taxi companies had just created their own apps before Uber was invented.
If you can use an app or web interface to help your customers book your services or buy your products, do it! You don’t have to create the app yourself, of course – as with all the other key parts of your tech strategy, this part can be outsourced to experts in app design.
What technology means for your industry will vary depending on the nature of that industry. But remember, no matter how slow to innovate your industry may have been in the past, we’re living in a high-tech, fast-moving era. You can’t avoid technological advance, no matter how you earn your living. So be ready for it: turn to tech experts to stay one step ahead of your present and future competition.