Having written so much about the horrors small and midsized businesses face for our two-part Halloween business terrors feature, I couldn't resist the temptation to give some thought to technology treats.In fact, the more thought I gave the matter, the clearer it became that the "dark sides of business technology" are more than matched by the bright side of business benefits.
Here, then, my pick of half a dozen gifts tech gives our businesses -- every one of which has, to be sure, its trick-side, but any one of which just as surely is a treat:
1. Technology lets you live your life as well as run your business ï¿¼ those (protected and secure!) mobile devices keep you on top of things all the timeï¿¼ on vacation as well as in the office. And you can take longer vacations ï¿¼ as long as youï¿¼re connected, why not join that conference-call from the beach rather than the boardroom?(The trick side of this one is that your customer know how connected you are: be careful lest youï¿¼re on call 24/7/365.)
2. On the Web nobody need know youï¿¼re a small business ï¿¼ as long as you donï¿¼t misrepresent yourself or overpromise what you can deliver, the right combination of Web site and Web marketing lets you soar above the competitionï¿¼ up where the customers surf!
3. You can get your face and your personal insights and ideas out there ï¿¼ blogging and other networking tools let you tell it like you see it (within business reason)ï¿¼ and do so with as much reach as any mega-corporation, and without having to slice and dice your way through bigbizï¿¼s big bureaucracy.
4. Collaboration and teamwork take on whole new levels of meaning ï¿¼ and business benefit. One key to any small or midsized businessï¿¼s success is teamwork. And team-building has never been easier or richer than with the right array of software and communications tools on your network.
5. IT hasnï¿¼t brought about the death of office drudgery, but it has vastly diminished the burdens of routine chores ï¿¼ filing, copying and sharing information among departments, records- and bookkeeping. Enter it once ï¿¼ then do with it what you will, and whatever you need to.
6. Sophisticated and powerful technologies cost less than ever ï¿¼ letting you do more, accomplish more, reach for more business while holding onto to more of your IT budgetï¿¼ which youï¿¼ll need to apply to security measures against the monsters that are likewise benefitting (if thatï¿¼s the word) from the drop in tech costs and the climb in tech power.
And one more -- being your own boss, or at least being free from the corporate chain gang, lets you take the occasional moment for yourself, Just a bit of time to, say, take another glance at our Halloween business fears feature, Part One and then -- go ahead! -- Part Two.