A lot of value is placed on having the latest technology these days — it's just a fact. All you have to do is look at the lines for the latest phones and gadgets snaking around stores on launch day. As a small-business owner, it's easy to make do with what you have and keep using dated technology in an effort to save money. However, the reality is that using dated technology is likely costing you money in the following ways:
- Negative impression to customers: Your customers need to trust you and know that you are delivering the highest-quality products and services. If they see you're using equipment that may soon find its way onto an episode of "Antiques Roadshow," it makes them wonder whether you are really an expert and if they should take their business down the street.
- Lack of productivity: Using dated technology takes extra time, and as you know, time is one of your most precious commodities. By increasing efficiency by upgrading your technology, employees have more time to focus on customers - and the bottom line.
- Lower employee satisfaction: It's frustrating — and not a lot of fun — to use old stuff. Every time they're forced to use - and fix - dated technology, your employees are likely to secretly complain behind your back or feel less engaged with their work.
Here are three dated technologies to consider dragging out to the dumpster or recycling bin:
1. Fax Machine
Step away from the fax machine! Even though purchasing one of these machines was once a rite of passage for becoming a small-business owner, it's now just a huge smoke signal that you are behind the times. There is absolutely no reason this machine should take up space in your office. Today, the fax machine has gone digital by combining with email and has become more mobile and less reliant on paper. By using a paperless fax service, you can send and receive faxes right from your laptop or mobile device. No paper, no toner (whatever that is), and best of all, no annoying beeps. Each time you get a new fax, it goes straight to your email.
It used to be a sign you were successful in business if you had a fat ream of paper cards perched on your desktop. Today, it's a huge liability to keep your contacts on paper. Customers expect you to respond to their needs very quickly these days, and you need to be able to track down numbers when you need them. By storing your contacts electronically or using secure cloud-based applications, you have access to the phone numbers you need, whether you're on a smartphone, desk phone, or using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) from an international destination.
3. Answering Machine
Yes, there are still businesses that use answering machines. Every time customers call, they can tell when you have an answering machine — and it screams that you are behind the times. By using a cloud-based business communication system, your customers are greeted with an auto-attendant, calls are routed correctly, and voicemail is stored in a private mailbox or transcribed and emailed to you so that you can read - or listen - to it anytime, virtually anywhere.
Dinosaurs belong in museums or "Jurassic Park" movies. Don't let them take up space in your office.
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