SMEs in today’s digital economy need to be proactive to remain competitive.
New technologies are emerging almost daily and it’s crucial for business owners to stay on top of the latest developments to ensure their business model is future proof.
Digital innovation isn’t just changing the way we do business, it’s changing the way we do everything in our lives. And not spotting the opportunity early can have significant consequences. Take brick and mortar travel agents for example; so many completely missed the boat when the internet advanced, airlines got savvy and online booking websites like Expedia started to emerge. When was the last time you walked into a travel agent to book a flight? If you did, you probably researched it all online and knew the best price before walking in the door, or you went in purley because you knew they’d beat your online quote by 10%.
How can SMEs spot the next big tech trend?
Educate yourself and understand the tech industry. Most entrepreneurs set out to solve a problem, they want to make life easier or get something done more efficiently. Taking the time to attend industry events, tech events and read industry publications will give you insight into the next big technology trend driving digital disruption.
Now you know how to discover what’s coming, what now?
You know what they say — change your mindset, change your life. The same principle applies in business. As soon as you hear about new technology, instead of disregarding it, start thinking how the latest technology can open up opportunities and may give your business a competitive edge.
Keep an eye on social media
When Snapchat first launched, a social media platform that lets you ‘snap’ an image or video for 10 seconds before it disappears, many companies dismissed it as an application promoting infidelity. On the other hand, clued on marketers saw it as an opportunity to raise brand awareness and show real-time, unedited snaps in the areas of business you wouldn’t usually see.
Don’t underestimate 3D printing
3D printing is going to change a myriad of industries including electronics, automotive, construction and even food. In the immediate future we’re going to see savvy and innovative businesses producing personalised products based on 3D modelling such as, earrings perfectly molded to a 3D model of your ear and perfectly molded prosthetic limbs in the medical industry.