This is a guest post from Nick Cesare an SEO professional from Idaho.
When he’s not digging through the web he loves to go mountain biking and cook. You can contact Nick with any questions or comments @cesare_nick.
Take it away Nick….
These days technology in business permeates everything and getting ahead of your competitors means being more tech savvy than they are.
Research is showing that technology has transformed how we do business, but what makes a business more technologically advanced?
It’s not the speed of their computers nor is it having the latest phones. Here’s what tech smart companies are doing and how you can make sure that you’re one of them.
4 Things Tech Savvy Companies Leveraging Technology in Business are Doing to Stay Ahead of the Curve
1. They’re Online
Easily the most important thing for any modern company, be it B2B or B2C, is to have an online presence. For many business owners, though, this can seem like a difficult hurdle to jump.
You have to hire a web developer and that means either paying a little for someone an ocean away from you who knows nothing about what you do or paying a lot for a more personal developer who will take the time to understand your work.
No matter which of these two options you take, you’ll still have to cough up more money to keep your site updated, reflecting changes to your company and clientele.
You can put aside thoughts of Scylla and Charybdis. Instead of choosing between an impersonal website or an expensive one, you can make one yourself.
The web is no longer dominated by indecipherable code and confusing acronyms like HTML, XML, and CSS, nor will you have to wonder how a Python got into your website.
This doesn’t mean that creating a website for your business is easy now, but there are plenty of resources on the web to help you make your own website. With some time and a good eye for aesthetics you can definitely get online without resorting to an outside developer.
2. They Get Noticed
It’s natural to ask “if anyone can get online these days, what will make my company stand out?”
The answer to this question is manifold and complicated, but we can cover some of the pillars of having a strong web presence here.
First things first, your website needs to be well-organized for Google. This doesn’t just mean that it looks good to visitors. It means satisfying all of the criteria by which Google judges a good website.
Rather than doing everything yourself, this is a great place to look at some of the resources out there.
You can start by using these free tools to evaluate your site’s SEO (or search engine optimization), figure out where your deficiencies lie, and make the necessary corrections to your site. Make sure that you brush up on SEO trends as well.
Beyond your own website, it is incredibly important to engage with potential clients on social media. Create a Twitter account for your company and touch up on the do’s and don’ts of social media.
Remember, businesses don’t sell to business, people sell to people. Start a company blog to make your website attractive to users and incentivize them to share your content on social media.
3. They’ve Environmentally Savvy
Business practices that hurt the environment are falling out of fashion and falling fast. According to a recent survey, 93 percent of executives thought that going green was important to the future of their business.
What exactly this means for you depends on the nature of your business. In general you want to aim to cut down on the amount of electricity that you use and fossil fuels that you burn.
This can mean anything from making your company fleet electric to simply turning off the lights at night. It’s up to you to find out how you can make your business more sustainable.
My recommendation is to look at what other businesses in your field are doing and think about how you can adapt that to your work.
Here are some general suggestions, though. First of all, almost every company uses paper. To see how you can go green in that respect, check out what this large format printing company did. They switched over to soy-based inks and started using 100% recycled and recyclable paper.
Another thing that almost any business can cut down on is its commuter emissions. Everybody has to get to work, but there are more efficient ways than driving one-by-by one and getting stuck in traffic, spitting out greenhouse gasses the whole way. Think about setting up a company carpool to connect regionally related commuters with one another.
You can also encourage would-be cyclists with incentives such as an in-house drawing for commuters who bike to work, health seminars, and peace of mind benefits like a security camera watching over bike racks.
That last one is especially important when you realize that 50% of active cyclists have had their bikes stolen, with almost none of those being returned.
Not only will doing these things help the environment, it’ll also give you opportunities to network with like-minded businesses and potential clients. Remember what we covered about engaging on social media?
Going green is the perfect opportunity to Tweet about the things that your business is doing to become sustainable. You can also hop aboard popular topics like #BiketoWorkDay and get noticed.
4. They Talk
Intra-office communication is turning into something completely different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Gone are the days of sending memos by courier, printing out TPS reports, and pagers.
These days document sharing is done over the web, teams communicate instantly with apps like Slack, and managers send out critical information over email.
By communicating electronically your team can get more done more quickly. Doing work over the web also enables employees to periodically work remotely, working side-by-side with their coworkers when weather or illness keeps them at home.
Let me know how you’re going to use technology to improve the ways that you do business!