Technology is awesome!

How would we manage in today’s world without smart phones, apps and high speed connectivity?

IT can give you the edge

Stay ahead in the 21st century.

Using IT can give you the edge on your competition.  Almost a decade ago, foodtank was already saying that even poor, remote farmers use cell phones to get the current produce prices so that they can decide when to take their crop to market.

It used to be that you needed someone in the office when you went to the bank or post office in case a customer called.  Now you don’t waste your time going to the bank or the post office, and you can be in touch with your customers anywhere and at anytime … all because of a small smart phone.

How can a little (reasonably priced) technology help your business?

You can take digital reference photos of your project with your cell phone camera, even evidence for insurance after a burglary.

Keeping a record

Sending emails is a great way to ‘put it in writing’, your message is even date-and-time stamped.  And when you are on the road and can’t email a document, you can photograph it with your phone and send it by Skype.

Text (SMS) messages or Skype or WhatsApp are a great way to send critical information, like a bank account number, and know that the other person can’t get it wrong.

Programs like Dragon let you dictate a document hands-free while driving and it will convert what you say into text.

Getting it wherever you are

Google provides you with a whole suite of office products that you can produce and store in the cloud.  You can then download (or let someone else download) your documents, spreadsheets and presentations from anywhere there is internet connectivity.  I store all the thoughts and hyperlinked references for each of these chapters on Google Drive.  I am typing this document on Google Drive before I copy it to WordPress.

Productivity tools

And you can keep your calendar there too, and it synchronises with the calendar on your phone – no missed or double booked appointments.  You can also send and receive your emails on your phone.

I can’t remember everything I need to – and you really don’t need to know every supplier’s contact details – that’s why Google search is on the first screen of my smart phone.

Useful apps

Sorry if it appears that I am punting Google, but it really does have some useful apps.  Before I get on the road I check Google Traffic for congestion, and a route map to a place if I haven’t been there before.  You can add your business to Google Maps with Google Places and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) with Google Analytics.

Easy payments

Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) are easily made from your bank account using a smart phone app, and you can check your balance or customer deposits into your account at any time.  Don’t forget about buying airtime online.

And you can keep up to date, reading trade publications online and following RSS feeds and blogs.  Or podcasts of business radio programs using smart phone app while you are waiting for your kids at the doctor (yes, you do have a home life too).

burnin rubber

Technology can be very useful.  In fact, there are people who conduct their entire business using social media.  Khali de Villiers says she runs SA School of Weddings from her tablet using a combination of her Facebook page and Pintrest.

Staying in touch

Another important reason for needing a smart phone is that it can be used as a modem or an internet hotspot (wireless access point) for your other devices like your laptop (aka notebook) computer.

First published: 2014/05/15


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Do you know of a technology or application that would be very useful for small businesses?

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