By | Rayanne Morriss
Innovations improve the way you do business – as an entrepreneur or consumer. They automate processes, increase efficiency and cut costs. Most innovations are technological in nature, and some promote eco-friendliness. Others improve communication or marketing.
Technologies change over time, and new technologies are always emerging. Here are six business innovations that will make your life easier in 2020.
1. Digital Business Cards
Have you ever returned from a networking event with a bevy of business cards you never use? Do you hand out your own cards without hearing back from anyone? Paper business cards are cumbersome to use, and few people ever follow up. Yet, networking with others and making connections are important in business. That is where digital business cards come in. The best way to deal with the above issues is to create a digital business card.
After a good conversation, offer to share your business card by text. That way, you have their phone number and they have yours – plus a digital image of your face, right on their phone. This saves you time from sending an email the recipient may never see or open.
Furthermore, digital business cards mean fewer paper cards end up in the trash can -and, eventually, the landfill. Less paper waste makes for a cleaner, healthier environment.
2. Communication Tools
Communication tools make your life easier, too – whether you work at a desk or outside in the field. In recent years, communication has shifted from email to chat tools. Yet, both have a place in business. Chat apps, such as Slack, allow you to engage with coworkers, share ideas, and work through problems. They are best for quick questions and group brainstorms. They are especially helpful if you do remote work from home. Email is more formal than chat, so it is helpful when you are fostering a business relationship. Use email when you have to write longer messages, or when you want more privacy.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Entrepreneurs name artificial intelligence (AI) among the top business innovations. AI drives the way companies interact with clients and customers. It streamlines processes throughout a business including marketing, human resources, and customer relations.
Are you a small business owner? AI helps you grow your business. It enables you to understand your customers and identify emerging markets. Aggregator websites, such as ZipRecruiter, streamline your search for new hires. And, accounting software makes it easier to run a business.
4. Immersive Technology
Immersive technology is changing business for the better. Companies like Walmart have made huge investments in technologies like Augmented Reality (AR). AR enhances your digital experience by overlaying computer-generated objects onto a real environment. It opens up a world of possibility for businesses. For instance, it enhances design, development, marketing, sales and training. According to Forbes, immersive technology is powerful for business. It can generate great engagement and high conversions. When choosing how to leverage it, you must consider factors such as cost and practicality.
5. Business Robotics
Mention business robots and thoughts turn to giant, one-armed machines and assembly lines. Task-specific industrial robots have endured for more than half a century. Now robots are cropping up in hospitals, offices, and schools. They operate warehouses and fulfillment centers. They travel the roads and the skies. Business robots serve as messengers and couriers. Robots like the Amazon Scout ferry packages from distribution points to customers. Others are changing the way we shop such as refrigerated lockers. It allows for self-service pickup for quick and easy groceries.
6. Sustainable Innovations
Some entrepreneurs think the best innovations are those that create new markets. The best ones are those with the potential to save the planet. They do not pollute the earth’s water, land or air. Sustainable business innovations focus on the “three R’s” – reduce, reuse and recycle. Such innovations make everyone’s life easier, safer, and healthier.
Technologies are always changing, and businesses know they must innovate to keep up with the pace of change. From large companies to small stores, businesses must innovate to stay relevant. Not only do innovations boost their bottom lines, but they also make life easier for everyone.