Technology is a major component in the success of your business but it is also one of the biggest threats to its survival.  Whether you sell a product or service, your business is not exempt from this threat.  It is easy to think of industries that have been severely damaged or destroyed by very recent changes in technology.  When is the last time you purchased a newspaper?

The time to act is now.  Developing and implementing a long term strategy of identifying and responding to changes and opportunities in your industry is essential. There are four core components of this strategy:

 

1 – Evaluate

Take stock of all your technology resources – hardware, software, and the internet.  All your systems need to be brought up to date and using today’s resources.  Evaluate where they are being effective and where they are failing and make adjustment now.

 

2 – Monitor

Study the competitors in your industry.  Learn as much as you can about their offerings, how they take orders, what and how they communicate to your market.  Make sure you are doing at least as much as your strongest competitor.

 

3 – Research

Identify new products and services, not offered by your current competition, but those that will replace what you do.  A totally new product or service can be a much bigger threat than all your current competitors combined.

 

4 – Innovate

Think beyond your current operations.  Ask yourself questions that start with “What if…”, “Why couldn’t we…”, “Why do we…”, “Why isn’t there”.  This will help you identify new and improved ideas for both your current business as well as help you become and innovator in your industry.

 

In the future there will be two types of businesses, those who identified the threat of technology and adapted and those that are out of business.