Business in the modern world looks dramatically different from how it did back in the days of the country store that accepted credit and barters. Companies now sell their goods internationally and interact with clients all over the world. Technology has played a huge role in changing the way business is done, and makes running a business in the modern world possible.
Many businesses have clients, suppliers and employees all over the world. Keeping up with the demands of an international corporation would be impossible, or at least incredibly difficult, without the modern communication infrastructure. Today, with email, cell phones, teleconferencing and video chats, it’s possible to have a company meeting with clients and employees all over the world—as if they were all sitting in the same conference room. For the traveling businessperson, smartphones and laptops allow them to keep up on their work from wherever they are and always be available to their clients. Email particularly has made communication more efficient as both parties don’t have to have the conversation at once, and logistics can be taken care of rapidly without getting sidetracked by conversational pleasantries.
Back before modern technology became available, starting a business was a monumental task. Entrepreneurs had to invest an incredible amount of money in creating a brick and mortar location with plenty of product offerings just to get started. Thanks to technology, entrepreneurs can now start by selling items online through sites like ETSY.com, and easily reach a broader customer base across the world. Marketing is also easier as social media sites provide cheap ways to reach an audience, as do email marketing and online ad campaigns. Just think of the innovation we would have missed out on with no Google, Apple or Microsoft.
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From the time of the cotton gin or the first Ford assembly line, technology, particularly automation, has dramatically increased business efficiency and production. Most production lines use some form of automation or computer system, and a lot of hard labor has been replaced by equipment. For example, look at how much easier farming has become now that farmers don’t plant, weed and harvest by hand. Automated warehouses and shipping have also become common to meet increased demand, complete with automated labeling with bar codes to keep track of the size, weight and destination of every package that is sorted through the system.
A Picky Customer
Since companies are able to sell to customers all over the world, consumers can be more picky about which businesses they chose to patronize. With thousands of retailers available at their fingertips online, the modern customer doesn’t settle for a product with bad reviews or a high price. This means the modern business has to fight harder to keep their customers loyal, and to stand out from the competition. Social media has provided a valuable tool for businesses to connect with their clientele and have a more personal conversation with them. Of course, social media has also been a source of headache for businesses that don’t understand that consumers who are looking for a personal touch won’t hesitate to share a bad shopping experience with others all over the web. With consumers becoming even more connected through smartphones and tablets, businesses will have to continue to adapt in order to be transparent, and to offer the best customer service possible.