Hi there – and welcome to a new year of owning your business. It seems like it was not that long ago when we ran our embroidery business and then started the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (or back then, Embroidery Network,). We took embroidery orders on paper forms, used calculators to get order totals and mailed invoices to customers with stamps and envelopes. I pulled over at pay phones to call and confirm my next appointment. Do you remember any of this? If not, I suspect that you cannot even imagine what this was like!
Order forms were replaced with laptop computers and then along came netbooks, and now it seems like tablets are everywhere in service and in product-based businesses. Since the orders are entered in a system, the totals are calculated automatically and no more calculators needed! Snail mail became faxes, which are now antiquated because communications are handled by email. Mobile phones arrived (my first one was the size of a small briefcase), then evolved into PDAs and now we cannot imagine life without our smartphones. Holy Smokes – a whole computer in our hand. Who knows what is coming next? We certainly do not have any clue – but whatever it is, we will be ready.
Technology is only going to advance. In order to exist as a business, you need to create and maintain a digital footprint. If someone looking for your products and services cannot find you on their smartphone, you do not exist for them. They will interact with businesses they can find and communicate with quickly and easily from the device in their hands.
Even though technology has changed the face and the pace of how businesses function and how we communicate with each other, we believe that honest, good, hard-working people are still the foundation of the business world – and relationships are at the very heart of every aspect of life. Continue working the relationships with your customers using the tools and systems which we now take for granted. Posting something relevant on a regular basis is a great way to keep yourself in the conversation.
While the process of how a single stitch is formed by an embroidery machine remains relatively unchanged, just about everything else in how your run your business has changed tremendously. Embrace it and see just how far your business can go!