Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to work entirely from home, or just use the web to communicate with colleagues and clients through email or Skype, the impact that a connected world has had on the way we do business is undeniable.
For some companies and innovators, embracing the tools which the web offers has completely transformed their business models and made household names out of formerly obscure companies. Others have been frustrated and thwarted by a world that seems to change faster than they can keep up with. Entire industries have all but disappeared – think video rentals and music producers who relied on CD and DVD sales for example.
One thing is for sure, business, as usual, isn’t quite what it used to be! Let’s take a look at some of the ways the web and online technologies which many of take for granted have changed business forever.
How we communicate
For companies with a global footprint, the ease of modern day communication has been a total game changer. Gone are the days of footing expensive international phone call bills and forking out for plane tickets that may or may not bring in new business.
Emails and Skype calls cost little to nothing, meaning that your outlays on new business have all but disappeared, and you can focus your resources only where they’re needed and bring in the best returns.
Finding leads and pertinent information on prospective clients has made sales efforts more targeted and, therefore, more likely to succeed. And perhaps the biggest advantage a connected world offers business is time.
Every aspect of business has become exponentially faster – from the difference between waiting days for your flyers to go out in the mail to sending an email blast in a couple of seconds.
Social media allows businesses to interact instantly and publicly with their customers, launch new products or special offers en masse and to a global audience. And speaking of social media…
How we market our brands
The rise of online content hasn’t just changed the way we market our products and services, it’s created a whole new industry which is constantly evolving and growing, creating countless jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs along the way. Today, almost all of the average company’s marketing budget goes into online efforts – seo services, social media management, email campaigns, banner adverts and the like. Taking out an ad in the paper every now and then and sending off some Christmas cards once a year just doesn’t cut it for the modern consumer. We are starting to expect businesses to be available 24 hours a day to answer our questions or deals with our complaints – and the companies that do it best have a real advantage when it comes to customer loyalty.
How we hire and recruit talent
Imagine you were transported back 20 years and given the task of recruiting a new manager for a pharmaceutical company. The candidates need to have at least a BSc degree and a minimum of 8 years’ experience in a similar position.
Where do you start?
Unless you have years of experience dealing with similar companies and know people who know people, you put an ad in the paper (after editing your wording several times, because you’re getting charged for print space here) cross your fingers, and wait. And then you wait some more because the advert only goes to print next week.
Once it does, your perfect candidate may or may not see the advert, if they even subscribe to or read that paper at all.
Now step back into your time machine and rejoin us in the present day of digital recruitment. You post your advert for the vacancy online on several portals, some of which don’t cost you anything at all, and can be as lengthy and detailed as you like.
It’s instantly available to everyone with an internet connection, and job seekers are actively watching for and being alerted to new positions which fit their skills. Within hours or even minutes, CV’s are flooding in. While you sift through for the perfect candidates, you hop onto LinkedIn and check out the work histories, experience and locations of top candidates who fit all your criteria. You gather the best CV’s and email them to your client, who’s delighted and slightly amazed that came up with so many options in just a couple of hours.
If some of the candidates are in different states or even a different country, you can still interview them on Skype. Please just remember the first rule when using technology is back up, back up, back up! Data recovery is time-consuming and costly.
A process that could take weeks or even months can be handled within a few days – that’s the power of a connected world, and it affects every aspect of business today.