Between the myriad of apps and software available these days, it is virtually impossible to keep up with the changes. Maybe there is an app for that, too! A lot of the technology that you use will be updated automatically, from the operating system in your iPhone to your computer security software. The ones you use are rather easy to keep up with, but keep your eyes out for technology that is being advanced that could replace or innovate something that you are now using. A couple things of late that might be of interest for your business.
- Apple Extended Warranty Program: People love their Apple products, but the biggest complaint about them is cost. With that customer mentality in mind, Apple has announced it will soon launch a Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot program (say that five times fast) that could extend a product’s eligibility for repairs from five years to seven years. Sounds like a good idea, but one wonders with the rate of technological advancement, what device in the world would you actually hold on to and use for seven years. With that said, squeezing a few more years of life out of a MacBook or iPhone may be more cost effective than replacing them.
- Google Chromebook Adds more Features: The Chromebook initially gave users an inexpensive entrée into the world of laptops. You can currently get an Acer Chromebook for $199! Google is currently rolling out its Chrome OS 70, which drastically changes the look and feel of the operating system and makes it more touch-friendly than ever. In addition, the new OS has a streamlined tablet home screen to give users a permanent on-screen grid of icons, in effect, an always-open version of the traditional Chrome OS launcher. I enjoy having the icons on screen as if it were a smartphone.
- QuickBooks App Award Program: Many of you use QuickBooks for your accounting and financial needs, but you may not know they have an annual app competition that awards $100,000 in prize money. The program gives big money to start-ups or tech firms that develop innovative ways to use QuickBooks better. If you’re a QuickBooks user, then check out some of the finalists, or perhaps develop something of your own next year.
- Amazon Offers Free Holiday Shipping: Here is one that is not so good for your business. Amazon has removed the minimum purchase requirement on its 2-Day shipping and will offer the service regardless of order size for free. That means that you have to factor this into your holiday costs. You might have to increase your selling costs a few dollars, or just hop on the bandwagon and become an Amazon merchant.
- Utilize Technical Expertise on a Fractional Basis: In the new world of gig work and flexible employment, it might not be necessary for you to drop the big bucks on a CIO salary. The advent of fractional employees has caught on and it can be a benefit to you. While you will always need someone to do the mundane, such as printers and networks, it would behoove you to stay ahead of the technology curve and consult with a high level IT person on an ad hoc basis. Check out Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, or if you want to try something overseas, we have had good luck with online.ph.