In just a few short years we've seen major shifts in how we market our products (hello, social media), purchase goods and services (one word: smartpay), and comparison shop (bookstore shoppers checking Amazon on your phones, we see you!). All this month we'll be exploring the many ways that technology has changed the landscape for business owners and consumers alike. What shifts have you experienced in your own business? Swipe to chip? More customization? Paper to cloud? How are you meeting these shifts head-on?
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Not sure what to say about this. My bookkeeping/accounting and tax business undergoes many changes during the year. From December - April it's like 14/hour days 7 days a week, May is catch up time with 9 - 10 hours (but I take the weekends off), June - August time for CPE, and the ongoing work, new customer retaining, etc. And then we get ready for the next tax season. But there are really no predictions. If a new client comes aboard with lots of clean up, and/or set up it'll be more hours then. Was that the answer?
I love this question because being new in my industry, it challenged me to think about what service I truly provide. In a time where women are vocal about what they want, deserve and are now obtaining; my business empowers her in discovering success in a new season. It allows her to break away from the stereotypes and the rigidness that spirituality has for women and reveals the freedoms she has instead.
@LeahIlanah your business certainly fluctuates depending on time of year. Can you imagine what tax season was like before accounting software? That's a major shift! What about in your own lifetime? Have there been any advances in technology that have made it easier for you to handle the ebb and flow of work and clients?
@ElaineTay-TGW, I love your business and your message! What do you envision as integral to your business model in terms of technology? How would it be different if, say, you were launching before the advent of social media?
You're funny. Where I used to work before, we got client's who dropped boxes with receipts on our desks, and we were expected to make a tax return from that. So, still reality. Think "Stranger Than Fiction' - The movie. And yes, I had three clients where I had to do a year's worth of bookkeeping before I could get started. I guess they are mostly technology resistant here. I have a very hard time introducing apps.
LOL, you got me there, @LeahIlanah! Decades of personal computing have not quite erased the days of receipts stuffed in shoeboxes. So I guess that's the more interesting question: How has your clients' use of available technology changed the way you do business? Has it indeed made things easier or are you finding that technology in all its variations (platforms, programs, and yes - apps) has introduced unexpected challenges as well?
Thank you @EmilyCowan There would certainly be limitations. Tech offers mobility and accelerated growth with the right infrastructure. Tech has opened the door to conversations long overdue and provoked changed.
But - I do love TSheets! Set a client up with it yesterday. Once her employees comply, we might have an advantage, and save lots of time and hunting for documents. Two have signed up so far, one of them being on the clock now for about 30 hours. Gotta practice that again.
Hi there! Being a product-based business means I have to think about every aspect of my product, from the container it is housed in, the labels and the printing on the labels, the ingredients, and my shipping packaging. Everything is Instagrammable and consumers love pretty things, but they are also demanding that we be kinder to the environment, and transparent about ingredients and sourcing. It's hard to manage all of these things as a one-woman show, and it's also expensive to do.
That's an excellent point, @cruberti! Has it been your personal experience that many customers are willing to pay a bit more for sustainably packaged items, as this graphic suggests, or do you find yourself absorbing any additional costs to use packaging that is both attractive and environmentally preferable? I've always wondered if survey respondents aren't being a bit "aspirational" in their answers on this.
For Earth Day a couple weeks ago we collected profiles on seven QB Community members creating green/sustainable products. Some pretty cool stories in there!