From predictability to productivity, it’s now or never to get on the tech train

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), at least 50% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) will be digitized by 2021. That’s a mere 24 months away. Sure, some industries such as construction and F&B will remain in their brick-and-mortar forms, but customers and vendors will (if they haven’t already) expect the ability to process transactions in seconds, with high accuracy and a secure environment to match.

For small businesses, the pressure is on. The failure to digitize could spell demise, and the countdown may begin sooner than expected.

1. Technology helps you gain control when all else is unpredictable

It was a big year for Canadian businesses. From Bloomberg to Twitter, family dinners to the office break room, perhaps no news was more prominent than tariffs and trade negotiations.

According to a recent TSheets survey, 51% of those in construction believe the steel and aluminum tariffs will impact overall economic growth negatively. This is leading many in the industry to consider completing more work faster and sourcing for cheaper materials, as possible countermeasures.

Yet the same pool of respondents is risking human error and inaccuracies by using pen and paper to track employee time and process payroll, instead of relying on technology to consistently save on payroll costs while shaving hours off manual administrative work. Why add to the uncertainty of the trade wars when there are predictable deliverables already available to your business?

2. Automation boosts productivity and growth

For some businesses, the realization that technology is a friend happened long before “technology” became a buzzword. In 1999, the Sandhu family’s beloved samosas were gaining popularity among the restaurants and grocery stores in the Toronto area. There was only one problem: The Sandhus couldn’t make them fast enough. The brothers, Harpal and Harminder, knew automation was the only solution, but they weren’t able to find the right machine.

Undeterred, they decided to modify a pierogi maker. Today, the almost entirely automated Samosa and Sweet Factory in Etobicoke makes 150,000 samosas daily, along with other traditional sweets and dishes, catering to domestic and international demands. Harpal credits the machinery for keeping costs down, yields consistent, competitors away, and clients coming back for more. “When we decided to go with automation, it was definitely an investment and a risk. But it paid off. We would not have been able to grow as we did otherwise,” Harpal told TSheets.

3. Brand personalities resonate with the help of technology

As technology allows the reach for every business to go global, it’s become vital to have a friendly face and online presence to connect with your target audience, wherever they may be. Sure, it may not be possible to meet every customer in person, but it’s definitely possible to emotionally engage with the help of technology. And it has been consistently proven that emotions drive brand loyalty, oftentimes edging out rational elements like price and quality.

Yet 59% of Canadians surveyed by GoDaddy and Redshift said they don’t even have a website, and only a third planned to build one. Some respondents said they don’t have the time, others said building a website was too expensive or beyond their technical expertise. Together, these businesses missed out on $1.8 billion, or 24.6 million digital buyers, in 2017.

An online brand personality is something near and dear to TSheets that we’ve benefited greatly from. From our website to our blog and emails, our online presence has helped us compete, establish ourselves as an industry expert, and build connections with our customers beyond borders.

So if your business is considering a business investment in 2019 and technology has yet to gain a foothold in your operations, it’s time to get on board.

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