Technology changes more rapidly than you would like to admit sometimes. In the world of business, falling behind the times can impede or slow growth and development – two things you definitely don’t want in today’s economy. If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you have an established way of doing things. Updating your business doesn’t mean that you have to completely change the way you do business. If you have been in business for many years, you must be doing something right. Updates should fit into your general way of doing business, not be an extreme makeover.

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Get Past the Usual ‘Excuses’ for Not Updating

If you have been doing business for a while, you probably have had little nudges here and there to make updates and changes to your business. This is usually when you run through a list of excuses ranging from “It’s not in the budget right now” to “We’re doing fine. Why rock the boat?” Updating your technology doesn’t have to be blow your budget. Updates do not have to happen all at once and you don’t have to change all the ways you do business to incorporate some new methods. It’s not all or nothing. Your biggest obstacle is getting past the common excuses most business use for not updating technology or exploring the possibilities of Internet marketing. Once you do that, you just might be surprised at the possibilities.

Incentives to Upgrade Your Technology

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, some government programs offer incentives for certain upgrades – especially improvements considered to be environmentally friendly. This can include new energy-saving computer monitors and adopting paperless efforts such as electronic deposit of paychecks. Some updates can cut energy costs and save you some green at the same time. Changing from desktop computers to laptops, for example, will cut your energy usage by about 80 percent. Switching to energy-efficient lighting and heating and cooling systems can cutback on operating expenses.

Incorporate Online Marketing into Your Business Strategy

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You may be perfectly happy with your customer base, but a sluggish economy means that some steady customers aren’t buying the way they used to. Adding some online marketing efforts to your business strategy can bring in new customers and boost your revenue at the same time. The same is true of the various social networks out there. Start by updating your website. Consider creating a Facebook or Twitter account for your business and incorporating it into your traditional marketing efforts. Most online marketing techniques won’t add that much to your expenses. Some are completely free.

Engage Your Customer Base

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Updating technology can also be used to engage your existing customer base. This includes sending emails to previous customers or current clients about special offers and deals they will likely be interested in. Include your email address, website address and other Internet sites you use for your business on all traditional marketing efforts, even business cards. Your existing customer base is a good source for finding repeat and new customers. Satisfied customers are likely to tell others about you. Inviting existing customers to your online efforts makes it easier for them to spread the word, so to speak. If you have a Facebook page, for example, encourage existing customers to “like” you so that others will have access to your page. Even if you don’t offer products or services online, you can still generate interest in your business this way.

It’s not enough for your business just to have a web page these days. Even traditional businesses that rely on local customers and clients can benefit from upgrading technology in terms of office equipment and marketing efforts. Updating your office by going paperless, updating computers or switching to laptops and changing to energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling are easy ways to reduce your budget without cutting jobs. Incorporating online marketing efforts can broaden your customer base and expose your business to new markets. This is a great way to generate extra revenue at a time when budgets are tighter than ever. Relax. Take a deep breath. Change can be a good thing.