From common to obsolete
July 2004. Noumea, New Caledonia. I was hired by Agfa to deliver a half-day workshop on internet marketing to 25 of their top photo store retailers. Digital cameras were cutting heavily into their photo finishing/printing business.
Where is AGFA (in relation to photo processing) now? Out of business.
June 2010. Apia, Samoa. Kodak Express annual conference. Keynote on Marketing In Today’s Wired World. Key suggestion: They should scream from the rafters "Come in, and print some of your smart phone pictures now".
I haven’t seen any photo processing store promote their ability to print smartphone pics. Have you?
When my husband wants to print his photos (mainly as photobook presents or calendars) he simply does it through Apple.
They are developing more of a stranglehold. How can the average photo printing business compete?
August 2009. I bought a business card scanner for $300 so we wouldn’t have to manually type them In. It would scan and save to a database which you could export into your own and you could categorise group contacts.
Yesterday, I paid $4.17 for a new business card scanner app for my iPhone. Bought online through the Apple app store.
It uses the phone’s camera and features include immediate ability to: telephone, sms, email, find the office on maps, group, go to website and also, of course, save to your phone and export a csv (comma separated variable – it allows any database system to read the information) file.
The physical card scanner is still available, but now it is $425.50. How many do you think they sell?
How long will they continue to be in business before it is completely obsolete or deemed too expensive?
This morning I went to the optometrist. It was three machines that tested my eyes. Grant, my optometrist, said: "I feel like a button pusher now."
To the person who follows and uses the latest technology these examples are, well, simply duh. Boring. So what?
However, in my experience of speaking with thousands of corporate staff members, professionals and SME business owners and managers, one thing is certainly apparent.
It is a slim slice, a scant minority of individuals, who understand or are reviewing the implications of what the internet, technology and smartphones mean for them and their businesses.
How it could help them save time and money or, conversely, put them out of business.
The simple point I’d like to make is to take the time to be aware. Do not to let technology creep up on you and make your business obsolete, or wasteful.
Examine processes, procedures and products in minute detail to see where you can save time, modernise or reinvent.
# Debbie Mayo-Smith is an international speaker, trainer and bestselling author who works with businesses that want more effective management and staff. www.debbiespeaks.co.nz
# Her new book, Conquer Your Email Overload, can be bought at any bookstore or from Debbie at the address below.
# If you would like to WIN a copy of the book, email Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org with the tip you like the best.
It will be drawn on Friday.