"The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential."
--- Steve Ballmer
Obviously, as an online magazine, we consider ourselves to possess a rather good share of technological knowledge. We learned about web development, server systems, backup programs, and the Internet years before it became such a popular and necessary resource. Though not considered techies, we believe we could fair well if given the latest tech test.
However, our main raison d'être is to provide a quality magazine for the sign industry trade. We consider our business to be an information publication business first, that uses technology to reach every segment of our respected trade.
"Almost everybody today believes that nothing in economic history has ever moved as fast as, or had a greater impact than, the Information Revolution. But the Industrial Revolution moved at least as fast in the same time span, and had probably an equal impact if not a greater one."
--- Peter Drucker
Although new technology is getting newer by the minute, every business person's focus should be on using every available tool to develop, enhance, promote, and deliver quality products and services, and not to become frustrated to the point of ignoring the new advances.
Fear of new things causes us to remain in the past. While the competition leaves us in their dust, we still wallow in place hoping that things will change. Well, change is here and we need to begin embracing it.
"I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created. They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user."
--- Bill Gates
Remember that it wasn't that long ago when your office probably didn't have computers, or at least not as many as you have now. The tools available online and in purchased software today can help you do amazing things with your business. There are tools for recordkeeping, doing payroll, job estimating, and tools that combine these and more. It is on the verge of ridiculous to not take advantage of this type of technology.
"I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization. Some retail groups are introducing e-commerce and think that the "bricks" are no longer useful. But they will continue to be important."
--- Carlos Slim Helu
I have an uncle that use to use the old fold-out rulers for estimating electrical projects. When I would work with him, he could have that thing unfolded and take a measurement before I could extend my brand new Stanley measuring tape. He never bought a measuring tape. Until the day he died, he used that folding one. Nothing wrong with that, it worked for him.
What about you? Are you comfortable with your old way of doing business? Sure it still works, but is it as efficient, as accurate, or as economical as some of the new technological ways?
"Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one's financial success is due one's technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people."
--- Dale Carnegie
Business is still business and the basic principles of treating people fairly, providing a good, quality product or service at a great price will always apply. But today there are new and better ways to get that accomplished.
Do you have a website for your business? Have you started blogging? Start this week investigating new ways to promote your business, to learn about business, and to do business. If you need to, ask your kids to set up a Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin account. I know, sounded Greek to me too, but maybe it is time to learn this new language.