6 Business Trends Baby Boomers Aren’t Ready for That Could Cost Millions | Business Technology

What spurred this article was actually several pieces of research that I have recently read on each one of these 6 areas and its impact on different generations. While none of them focused on the boomer generations specifically, I was able to glean from all of them put together that there’s a rude awakening coming like freight train. Boomers will face a choice over the next 5 to 8 years to embrace these concepts or be wiped out by those of us who do.1. Mobile Technology – Over the last year alone, I’ve met hundreds of business owners. And only 1 out of about 20 has a smart phone. What’s up with that? Even less have an iPad or some sort of tablet. By the way, having a blackberry doesn’t count! My iPhone increased my productivity and created freedom for me in my business. My iPad took it to another level. But I first had to take the leap and invest in the technology.2. Social technology – This is a bit of surprise given that just over 1/3 of the American population is on Facebook and another 1/3 is on some other sort of social platform. This means that there are over 200 million people participating, in most cases daily on social technology. This is as opposed to traditional media that has lost over 80% of its readers, viewers, watchers, etc over the last 5 years. So think of it like this. If you are going fishing, don’t you want to fish where the largest concentrations of fish are? Not participating in social technology is the equivalent of fishing in your bathtub hoping to catch that record-breaking bass. It just isn’t going to happen.

3. The death of traditional media – I know this won’t come as a shock, but traditional media is dying. What will come as a shock is how much you will have to change your business to deal with this. Most boomers are not ready for this and continue to pump money into traditional marketing methods and use outdated practices. A good example of this is your business cards. For the most part, 95% of business owners can stop using business cards. Mobile and social technology have all but erased the need. But some people are still holding on.4. Consumer driven businesses – Like it or not, consumers have more input now on the growth and direction of your business than ever before. An example of that is a local burger franchise near us. We learned about it via Facebook. Several of our “friends” suggested it so we checked it out and then we suggested it. On their Facebook page, they asked for input about specialty burgers and got a ton of input. They also got several suggestions on changes to the service, wireless internet, etc. I monitored this for a while and noticed that they listened to a few of the burger suggestions, but discarded most. People complained on their Facebook page. They ignored it. I saw more complaints about the service and how “they don’t care about us” started popping up on the page more and more. Then customers revolved and gave their business to a competitor. And then wrote about it on their page.5. Virtual businesses – This is one of the hottest trends in business right now. You are going to see an explosion of virtual businesses over the next few years and it will just get stronger. A couple of the main reasons are technology. You can set up a website, relationships, drop shipping, a remote sales team, and a ton of other really cool things for most businesses these days. Even traditional retail businesses can be run out of a home and products can be shipped or services offered over the phone or web. There’s no reason you can’t run your business this way except for one… Stubbornness. I’ve run into many boomers who won’t accept some guy working at home in his Sponge Bob PJ’s. I get it. I’m more of a Transformers guy anyway. But the fact is that some boomers feel if they don’t see your face in the office you must not be working.6. The freemium – Google took this concept to a new level with their concept of, “give your best stuff away”. It’s caught on with the 35 and under crowd, but boomers will struggle significantly to give away their best stuff. What most don’t realize is that if you aren’t willing to give it away, someone else is and your prospect will go in their business funnel and NOT yours!

So how is this going to cost you millions? Let’s look at the math and start with a company that is generating $500K in annual revenues and look at two factors. The first factor is the negative impact these 6 trends can have on your business if you DON’T embrace. If each one is just worth 10% of your annual revenues, combined together you stand to lose 60% or 300K per year.The second factor is what you stand to gain by implementing these. First off you SAVE that 60% that you would have lost and if each of the 6 trends can improve your business just 10% per year, you stand to gain 60% or 300K per year. Both of these factors put together and you may be giving away 600K per year. The numbers add up fast on this little business and they are giving away $6 Million over 10 years.The sad news is that they will likely go out of business well before 10 years. So on the bright side, they don’t lose the $6 Million in possible revenues…

4 Steps for Managing Your Small Business Technology Costs

A few simple steps can help you make the most of your expenditures throughout the lifecycle of the technology. Servers, desktops, software, networking equipment and peripherals add up, but you do need them to keep your business running. Follow these steps to make cost-effective decisions.

1. Weigh Financing Options

Aside from purchasing, financing and leasing are viable options for a small business. Consider a combination of the three when going through the buying process. Installing and configuring the technology could also be financed and bundled into regular payments. Does the company you’re buying from provide “new and authorized by the manufacturer” sales? After you’ve got the equipment up and running, this could enable your company to get updates or enhancements directly from the manufacturer–and dealing with problems will be much simpler.

2. Warranty Wisely

Anticipate growth and business changes and decide whether or not the technology you are selecting today can carry you through these changes. Take into account the time that it will be considered useful for your business. To protect yourself when financing or leasing, align the term of the agreement with the warranty period. That way you’ll have protection direct from the manufacturer during the period of time you intend to own it.

3. Consider Total Cost

Prepare and budget for other costs to support your technology. For example, toner cartridges typically cost the owner or a laser printer two to three times the initial cost of the printer. Consider a program such as a Managed Print Service to include these costs in the monthly price. Typically this will lower the total lifetime cost.

4. Plan for Disposing of the Equipment

Considering your company’s strategy around technology disposal or recycling at the front end. There are basically 3 ways to properly dispose of technology at the end of the useful life:

Sell the equipment
Donate the technology to a school, non-profit, etc.
Formal Disposition – Certified companies will assure your computers or other hardware and software will be properly disposed of, including recycling and reuse of components. Another benefit: Your data is destroyed and made unrecoverable by professionals rather than relying on inexperienced staffers.

The total cost of ownership of technology includes more than the upfront price tag. Consider the total lifecycle costs of IT for your business, plan ahead and you’ll make sure you’re maximizing your investment.