"You can't solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level." Although Albert Einstein made that statement decades ago, but he could have been speaking at any conference today.
Change is constant, as every entrepreneur knows. What seems like a brilliant idea now can quickly become outdated. For example we no longer worry about storage capacity on the network because its on the cloud. We can transfer data and files easier than ever. We can have a video sales meeting with all of sales people from around the globe.
A smart entrepreneur will already be anticipating how innovation will change business in the next 5 years. Here are five ways we may all need to adapt, with examples of how they are already being used:
1. Mobile devices will become the customer's primary means of interaction. 5G is coming and with it means the ability to use mobile devices in ways not possible today. While there are already more mobile devices than people on the planet, they will continue to have increased capacity and capability. Announcements and advertisements must be appealing on the small screen. Just as airline passengers can now board planes by using their smartphones, customers will be shopping--and paying--with mobile devices, in every market. Will you be ready?
2. Videos will become commonplace. Think YouTube, only on an everyday basis. Adults are primarily visual learners. Being able to see a product or learn about a service will be essential. Much like blogging, material will need to be constantly and creatively updated. Visit websites such as Zappos or REI to watch how products are demonstrated today. Then ramp it up in your mind.
3. Each customer will have a tailored experience. If you shop at Amazon.com (and who doesn't?) you've already seen an example: "If you like this, then..." The site "remembers" you, sends you personalized emails, and treats you differently from any other customer. It's going to become the standard way of building loyalty, while tracking behavior.
4. How are you helping the community/world? Company culture will become stronger and stronger. Check out supermarket Wegmans or software giant Adobe. You probably already have mission and vision statements. Customers are going to want to see how you act on them and how you are contributing to the greater good. If your business is small, what are you doing for the community? If you're working in a larger market, how are making the world a better place?
5. Metrics will matter more and more. We already see this in Google Analytics: page landings, bounce rates, and unique readers. Businesses will be able to set goals, follow them in real-time, and make swift changes. More accurate metrics will become available, so entrepreneurs can design exact benchmarks and standards.
Savvy business owners will want to follow and embrace technology and the innovations it brings, and use it to their benefit. Exciting times are ahead!
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