Make technology your friend and use it to grow your business

The wonders of the internet and how one is able to use this tool for so many different things like staying in touch with friends and family, learning a new skill, or using the internet to market your business online or sell stuff online remains a hot topic.

According to Romany Thresher, a social media specialist, when one has spent so much time doing real-world business it can be difficult to see the benefits of using online to generate more business and more leads. The other challenge is that after a long day at work and being busy in your business the last thing you want to be doing is networking or building your digital footprint on the internet.

“One has to weigh up your options and ask yourself, can my business survive without the need to be online? To answer this question one must also factor in future trends and what is currently being rolled out. For example, if you are in the transport industry, by 2030 the World Economic Forum expects everyone to be using self-driving cars. If you are working as a Chef in a restaurant, could you be soon without work because robots can cook better than you can? Artificial Intelligence has already surpassed us whereby Elon Musk has already shared his concerns that we are all now obsolete, it is just a matter of time…”

 

 

Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics will be an integral part of our lives and it already is. There are over 500 technologies being introduced between now and 2030 as we move into a more transhuman augmented world.

Can you or your business survive without the need to be online?

If the answer is no and you are still treating online as if it can wait, perhaps it’s time to revisit and re-think how you manage your online activities if you are in need of customers, suppliers, funders, sponsors and ultimately in need of cash flow. Businesses that survived lockdowns were businesses that leveraged online. The question is – how can you leverage online and make it work?

If there is one thing I can say about Covid is that the pandemic gave people a much-needed reality check. “It was a realisation for me that had I not been working virtually already I may have not been able to work”, says Romany, “or I may have had to work under conditions that are not in my best interest. Clients of mine were grateful to have a digital footprint in place as they could quickly adjust and offer new products/services to their audiences. For others, it was the realisation that they had no income as their livelihoods came to a halt and it has been a constant struggle since.”

The advantage of online is that it is forever.

The internet is the one tool that gives us the advantage of building a legacy whereby future generations can experience you, the work you did, what your interests were, who you were connected to and how you experienced life in your time. While it can seem expensive initially, the internet and social media marketing is a very cost-effective way to market your business because it is forever.

Online also gives people an opportunity to stay connected and for those who had to endure lockdown alone, the internet was a saving grace. Families who were separated or loved ones stranded in other countries, being able to use tools like Whatsapp and Skype, kept people sane. People who were in a position to, used online to learn new skills and find ways of generating income online to sustain themselves which would not have been possible without having a computer, electricity or internet.

Digital Report for South Africa stats revealed that the number of internet users in South Africa increased by 1.7 million (+4.5%) between 2020 and 2021. It served as a market research tool, a business opportunity tool and a marketing tool at your fingertips – all rolled into one. It’s like offering you a business in a box but where you need to build all the components.

Resistance to change is the number one reason people become obsolete. We stop ourselves from achieving results by avoiding additional tasks or allowing constantly changing technology to overwhelm us. People often use the excuse they don’t have the time or they are technologically challenged. And run around in circles chasing the next client instead of working on their businesses or developing future products or services for past, present and future clients. If you want to remain competitive and in business, you will need to change this attitude and accept that online is here to stay.

We are in the information age and dominated by technology. We are at a place where there are two very real worlds: the real world and the virtual world. Soon every household will have an internet connection – and every business must have a website if they want to continue existing. The more dependent people become on technology, the more business owners will need to pay attention and take online seriously. Technology is there to make our life easier and our business more effective. Make technology your friend and use it to your advantage.

If you are an existing business, now is the time to revisit what it is you offer and how you embrace technologies to improve what you offer. The next step is making use of chatbots, artificial intelligence and…. the future list of possibilities is endless!

Maybe it is offering a new product/service online. If you are starting out, it could be learning new skills and using online networking events and social media marketing to generate leads. Perhaps you want to build a legacy and you are looking for brand-building opportunities. The internet is the ultimate platform for you to achieve this.

The Franchise Association started running online virtual networking events so that businesses could come together and exchange information in the hopes of making new contacts for future business and opportunities.