The home business is very much a different breed of business to your more traditional, office-based setup, yet they aren’t without their similarities.
One way they have historically been dissimilar is that big businesses are constantly investing in new tech innovations as a way of boosting their visibility, marketability and productivity. These trends rarely transfer over to the small business owner sat at home.
But why not? Some tech trends sweeping the business world have the potential to be just as valuable to those who work in the home office as it is to those who work on the 80th floor of a giant corporation.
Today, we’re looking at three technological tools that are now commonplace in the offices of big business — pieces of tech home business owners should also consider investing in.
Digital signage has seen a massive boom across the corporate sector in recent years — and it’s a trend which is not set to stop anytime soon. By 2020, it is predicted the market will be worth $20 billion.
The value of digital signage is well documented. It has been shown to boost sales, improve engagement and raise consumer satisfaction. However, while these benefits are all documented within large businesses, chains and traditional corporate setups, there is far less data to be gathered on home businesses. So, are the advantages of digital signage translatable?
In short, yes.
Digital signage provides value not because it is placed in front of large audiences, but simply because it is placed in front of customers, full stop. Whether 1000 people see the signage or 10 people see it, they still observe the same experience.
What consumers get out of digital signage is that it imparts more information than traditional marketing tools. Research has shown that digital signage is more memorable and persuasive than static marketing tools like leaflets, posters, brochures or print outs.
Using digital signage within your home business can improve your marketability. If you present your products or services through the engaging medium of digital signage, utilising its presentation opportunities of animations, vibrant images and text, you are likely to observe jumps in sales. Digital signage is simply more attractive. It creates a lifelike representation of goods that is more likely to entice the consumer.
However, these benefits only translate if you have customers visit your home office. Perhaps you make direct sales through consultations or up-sell during client visits. In this circumstance, having digital signage set up in waiting areas, or actively marketing your goods by directly offering digital signage as a sales platform, could have wide-reaching benefits similar to that seen by larger businesses.
Audio-Visual Presentation Technology
The term ‘audio-visual tech’ is a bit more vague than digital signage, so let us first explore what it means. Audio-visual technology is something that utilises both visual and audio in a way that conveys information.
There are numerous types of audio-visual technology, but what we are focusing on is equipment that can be used for presentations. Essentially an evolution of words being spoken over a blackboard, this technology includes smart screen displays, video walls, and interactive whiteboards.
I suppose the next question is: why are we talking about this type of tech in relation to a home business?
Audio-visual presentations are a staple of business. You’ll find them everywhere you go; from webinars and training courses, to investment meetings and networking conferences. They are an unavoidable part of the business world, purely because they offer so many benefits.
High-quality presentations, the kind that utilise state-of-the-art audio-visual technology, have the potential to provide unrivalled levels of engagement. While it is very easy to execute audio-visual presentations poorly, when done right, it ensures maximum information retention amongst viewers. Maximum information retention translates to memorability, which is where we reach the benefits of this type of tech for a home business.
The home business life is a competitive life. You don’t have the financial firepower or branding of major corporations, or even most plain old office-based SMEs. To build a reputation, satisfy and gain investors, create a consumer base and succeed, you need to be memorable and you need to ensure people are listening to what you are saying.
Audio-visual technology can help you do this.
Investing in the right technology — features that provide interactivity and allow you to utilise every type of audio-visual tool imaginable — helps you produce more memorable and dynamic presentations than anything you could have drafted up on PowerPoint.
Whether you are running in-house presentations or doing it via webcam, being able to produce and present something that ensures maximum engagement is essential to helping your business succeed. A home business, more than any other type of business, needs to take advantage of every opportunity it gets.
When you’ve got a new investor on Skype, having the right type of audio-visual technology can be the difference between make or break. Don’t just go with the basic tools on offer for your presentations. Go big or face obscurity.
A study found that nearly 75% of all workers believe that wearable tech is an important tool to increasing productivity. Initially a device created as a personal gadget to help things like personal fitness, wearable tech has come a long way since its inception. It now provides a wealth of benefits that can prove advantageous to all those in the business world, including home business owners.
The question is, then: how can a technologically advanced watch help increase your productivity and boost the potential of your home business?
- Increased connectivity — Wearable tech can be hooked up to just about everything; every email account, business phone, messenger service, or communication app. As a business owner, you’ll be in touch with an almost unfathomable amount of people, from clients to suppliers. Communication with all of them is essential. Wearable tech can help make sure you are always aware of when you are being contacted, even if you don’t have your phone to hand or aren’t signed into your Skype account. This can help to avoid delays, prevent missed opportunities and so much more.
- Unique apps — Productivity is all about efficiency. Efficiency is all about doing the most amount of work in the smallest amount of time. Wearable tech is an innovation that lets you shave off valuable seconds and minutes by streamlining certain business processes. Apps built into wearable tech allow you to complete certain tasks faster than you normally could, like sending messages, checking schedules and timetables, and recording notes.
- Monitor personal health — They say that sitting is the new smoking. Endless hours spent sat down, inactive, is ruining our health. Home business owners often work longer hours and spend more time sitting than other workers. Wearable tech keeps you aware of your situation, monitoring your movements and alerting you to periods when you’ve spent too long sitting in one place. You can’t run a business and stay productive if you aren’t in good health. Wearable tech helps you stay aware and ensures your personal health doesn’t slip to the back of your mind.
Wearable tech is a relatively inexpensive investment and can offer great benefits in the long run. Just like the other two items on our list, if you want to grow and evolve your business, it could be a key component in achieving those goals.