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Using Technology In Business To Increase Competitive Advantage

In elementary biology, I learnt that, there is a struggle for survival, in the animal kingdom. It is a process that, leads to competition within the rank. It is only those, with certain structural adaptive features that survive the intense competition, or, as some school of thought posit, that, only those that have evolved with time, will survive.

Making a transition into the world of humans, going about one’s venture, or, business, is an average means of survival, therefore, it is pertinent that, all efforts are directed, towards making a financial breakthrough out of it, for one to keep “body and soul together.”

We are presently in the fourth industrial revolution and the modus operandi of doing business, has tremendously changed. Ever since the invention of the Internet, traditional methods of carrying out businesses, though still very much around with us, has seen a migration, into the digital space, as more people continue to join the fray of building their online presence. As the years passed by, we have witnessed the rise of a significant number of disruptive inventions and innovation.

This illustration will drive home the point. A traditional media outlet that has failed to go digital by  embracing modern technology, would only continue to serve its local audience with its content, no matter how large its audience appears to be, on a global level.

On the other hand, an online media agency that has fully embraced the digital space, with all the technology applications, would definitely have competitive advantage, larger clientele, spread all over the world, a wider reach and measurable metrics, etc. Either in the small, or, large scale ventures, staying relevant in today’s competitive economy, is a matter of adopting new technologies and ‘unusual’ ways of doing things. Technology presents you a number of possibilities but top of the list for any business owner is to increase his or her revenue, while also exploring the opportunity of reducing overhead running costs.

A few questions that require answers include; what drives a business and how can technology be used to enhance the process?

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Integrating analytics: Knowledge is power, and it comes from having the right information. Having access to the right information, is a function of data. The data at your disposal can be a veritable asset, in the present world and the amount of data churned out on a daily basis, and what makes the difference is how you try to make sense of the data.

The right kind of tool will help you obtain a comprehension of marketing trends, preferences of your customers and how well your business is performing. It can also give you increased access reports on analytics and performance metrics, through their business application dashboard. Results obtained from these insights, are valuable for use, in approaching new business marketing strategy. Having data analytic tools, gives you a competitive advantage. You could try out an analytic tool, like Tableau.

Deepening Team Collaboration: Quite a number of tools out there will help your team more efficient and effective if used correctly. Collaboration has the high tendency of enhancing your team’s efficiency, while getting the job done, with reduced cost and minimized effort.

With these tools, you have the option of holding meetings with both your team members, (a benefit for some of them who work remotely) and clients scattered over different locations. Skype and Zoom are very common teleconferencing tools that your business could use, while Slack is great for collaboration/communication and Asana for project management. You would get to save a significant amount of funds that, you could have incurred from travelling all over the place to keep these business appointments.

Digital Marketing: Are you a small business owner, looking to lock horns with the big brands, with an established market and huge customer base? Your limited budget, in comparison to theirs, might not be rather appealing, to go for a regular ad that amounts to millions of Naira. You do not need to break the bank, to get this done, as technology has given you some sort of platform, for reaching new and existing customers at your disposal. This means that, you could, even, target specific customers that you want your products and services, to reach. In this digital era, technology has given you, the competitive advantage, to step into the same shoes, with established ventures and compete favourably, with them.

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With an effective digital marketing strategy, you literally, get to throw your products and services, at your potential customer’s face, online and this gives you more customer acquisition going forward. Getting to outwit your competitors, however, would require you to explore every available social media platforms, as well as, not compromising on quality. The Internet space, is a large infinite expanse, thus, it is advisable that, you choose wisely and be dedicated to the channel that promises greater prospects. An average business owner, ought to have a Facebook page, LinkedIn account, Instagram and Twitter handles.

Be accessible: In this digital era, the Internet is a world on its own and that is where a number of your potential customers spend an ample amount of their time. People rarely consult hard copy materials, these days, when sourcing for information. ‘Search for it’, is a common phrase we hear these days. This means that, people are always searching for information online, about products, or, services, therefore, your business must not be left out, when information about it is sourced for, on the Internet.

It is not just enough to have a physical office as potential customers who stay far-off from your business location, do not necessarily have to visit your store, since they have multiple options online. Your website is an online billboard that describes what your business is all about. Small businesses with an online presence already possess a competitive advantage, over others which do not.

It can, thus, be concluded that, with your smart use of technology, you could fully optimise your website for mobile, to widen your  reach, and further boost the competitive edge of your business.

Source: Punch

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