You Can Either Grow With Your Technology or Fall Victim to it.

Where have I heard this before? I’m not sure but it’s something I have been preaching a lot lately. From the employee who cannot seem to collaborate as well as they used to because they are still stuck on Microsoft Office products, meanwhile the next generation brings their own devices to the small business that doesn’t have an exchange network to share files… Many individuals and business’s are falling victim to their technology needs.

This blog posting will be a little different today. It’s mostly about the struggles I am having with small business’s, especially with cash resources dwindling fast due to the increased expenditures and decreased revenue being attributed to Obamacare. Yes, I had to mention that. Most are not keeping up with technology and actually seem to be falling victim to it.

Example 1: Using Technology to Rediscover Knowledge

I don’t care what the media is saying about job growth and the growing economy… Cutbacks are happening everywhere but the cutbacks don’t have to hurt “as much” if technology is used intelligently to share knowledge. I’m working a marketing desk for a client that has not had a marketer work it correctly for almost 4 years. I’m rediscovering knowledge that was left behind and now making it sharable through an existing Microsoft Exchange Network. Luckily this client had one. Now the current management team is getting access to some extremely valuable information and future hires will be able to follow my “Breadcrumb Trail”. Most new hires may not even be familiar with how to use Microsoft products. I can still explain the dinosaur products to the younger generation and how to migrate off them if need be.

Hopefully this will lead to increased revenue as managers have access to vital information they can use to make sound business decisions. Younger employees can now work with older workers and their dinosaur products. Did you used to have a valuable employee that moved on for better wages? Maybe they left behind valuable info that just needs to be rediscovered. All you have to do is build the bridge.

Example 2: Using Technology to Bridge the Gap between Old and New Employees

This is not a plug for my favorite product. I actually use this product with great return on investment. EVERNOTE! Yes… I have upgraded a client to the business version of Evernote and they are now building a company library of all the documents they need. It’s the easiest way to set up a sort of Exchange Network without the upfront costs.

The immediate benefits are that current employees can find information very quickly since every document is indexed and this information is available on any device through Evernote. With the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model popular with many small business’s this seemed to be the best way to go. Why pay for technology upgrades when your employees are bringing their own? If you have a medium-sized workforce that is working many different projects while scattered in different locations, the Evernote option is for you.

Growing business’s will love the fact that all they have to do is assign an account to a new hire and they have access to the entire company library. This will allow a new hire to conduct their training autonomously.

Example 3: Using Technology to pass on Valuable Experience to Future Employees

Very, very Frustrating! I’m watching older workers get their hours cut while younger workers, who granted are faster, are getting the lions share of the workload. Something gets lost in the process. Experience and Knowledge. Most business’s are struggling to live up to previous standards. The complaint, “I used to love this place but it lost it’s authenticity” are becoming commonplace. Business’s are losing their original corporate culture and fast!

In response to that I’m teaching older employees how to document their job functions. What do they do on a daily basis? Where is their list of contacts? Vendors? Suppliers? How do we keep the same look and feel of the business if someone valuable moves on?

Using “Hello” for Evernote I’ve been busy building contact databases that are easily searchable and can be shared with larger teams. These become very valuable resources. Where did we get those previous marketing materials? Who is the supplier on a particular project? Small business’s jump around from vendor to vendor looking for the best deal but that can create an inconsistent feel in the marketing of your business. Create that online version of your Rolodex. You’ll find it’s invaluable!

So those are some of the issues I am dealing with so far. Lot’s and lot’s of technology struggles but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t fall victim to your technology! I’ll post more tips next week.

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