Is technology an important part of operating a successful business? The short answer, yes. Can you imagine not having a cell phone? The thought is like going back into the dark ages. It’s almost unimaginable, when in reality cell phones have only been around for 40 years. Heck, I’m 42 and as far as I am concerned, I’m still young. Ok, I digress; the point I am trying to make is that even though the technology that was used to create the cell phone is relatively young, it is hard to imagine life without them.
The same can be said about technology that is used to make businesses operate more effectively. It is accepted that in order to operate business successfully and efficiently you have to use technology. I asked two entrepreneurs how technology impacts their business. Both businesses operate in different industries, but the commonality was the use of technology to achieve their strategic goals.
Kidist “Pinky” Emery, a seasoned entrepreneur opened Salon Pink in 2011 after 19 years of working in the industry. Pinky stated that she “always had a passion for hair since the age of five so it was natural to start my own business.” Pinky shared how she uses technology to maintain her status as a leader in the industry, “We use a salon based software made by salon owners to solely aid growing the business and we also use a separate software that tracks our clients satisfaction also known as an ONLINE CONCIERGE.” The use of this software works as evidenced by Salon Pink’s being recognized as a leader in the industry having won the Best of Bermuda Award in 2013.
Using technology allows businesses like Salon Pink to maximize business productivity and creates a platform to realize true business success. Pinky continued, “Our software “Millennium” has reporting that allows us to track inventory, client retention, accounting…, cash flow projections daily, time scheduled versus actual timing (which aids in booking and allowing us to track the time being wasted or used for each stylist), target marketing to the individual client, client booking online, access remotely, appointment book with all features, all elements that help grow our business successfully at our fingertips. The second software helps us track client satisfaction, market our goods and services and perform damage control very quickly if need be.”
Like Pinky, Dr. Roland Samms, Optometrist and owner of Atlantic Vision Care, uses technology to help manage the complexities of his practice. “We use several different types of technology given the diverse nature of our business. This can include medical diagnostics, electronic medical records, patient/customer communications, inventory control, order tracking and internal marketing/education.”
Another commonality amongst both Salon Pink and Atlantic Vision was the use of technology to manage staff and client productivity. Dr. Samms stated technology “helps us leverage our staff productivity, allowing us to stretch our payroll dollars as far as possible. It also helps us keep track of all the many moving parts within our business. Finally, it allows us to provide the most efficient and highest level of patient care possible.”
Technology allows entrepreneurs to realize a depth and breadth of service offerings. “We definitely couldn’t manage as many clients or provide as many services, which means our growth would otherwise have been limited. Payroll, which is any business’ largest cost, would also be a lot higher”, says Dr. Samms. Pinky, shares this sentiment stating, “Because everything is in one hub and managed by technology versus manually, I would say I need it all. I wouldn’t be able to run my business effectively without [it].”
Technology addresses all of the main areas of business, communication, marketing, customer service, client management, and productivity to name a few. Pinky considers technology “the way forward and very efficient and effective; a great tool to help grow my business. “Dr. Samms shared “I’ve always just had a natural affinity for technology. That has been a good fit with the profession of optometry as it can involve a lot of “toys”. Beyond that, I just love how technology allows you to do new things in a new way. It’s a great way to keep things fresh as its always changing.”