Why Entrepreneurs Should Be Aware of Tech Trends—Even If Their Business Isn’t Tech

By: Felicia Savage

Winners_IpadA recent report from the team at Edison Research reported that only 33% of Americans who are on social media have ever followed a brand. Makes you wonder how many people you’re actually reaching through your start-up’s social media account, doesn’t it?

Regardless of what industry your start-up falls under—whether you have a hot new app or you’re becoming a blacksmith—it’s imperative that you keep up with tech trends, not only in marketing, but in other areas as well. Our lives have absorbed technology to the point where we interact with some kind of screen every day, often without thinking about it. Like this: more than 1.2 billion people access the Internet from their mobile devices. How does your website look in a mobile format?

Getting in Front of Your Customers

Your customers are spending their time online somewhere. The thing is, it could be anywhere. It might be on a specific social media site or just scrolling through a ton of blogs every day. But we all spend time online.

Tech trends can help you figure out specifically where your customers are spending their time. They can tell you if a new social media platform has opened that matches your marketing plan perfectly. It can even let them know how you need to connect with your audience: through television, the Internet, a mobile device, or plain old mail.

New Ideas, New Ventures

Just because your current business isn’t necessarily technology-centric, it doesn’t mean that you can’t adopt new technologies, or even branch out into another business that does focus on technology. Keeping an eye on the trends in technology is your first line of sight into new or additional revenue opportunities, or new ideas and products.

PERQ is actually a great example of this. Until the mid-2000’s, we were almost exclusively a direct mail company. By keeping our eye on the tech trends of the time, however, we were able to introduce touch screen kiosks and real-time reporting to the market during a time where this was unheard of. If we would have relied solely on direct mail, however, our business wouldn’t be where it is today.

Getting Better

There are always ways to improve your business, no matter your industry, and technology trends can tell you exactly what techniques and languages are the best to use in new ventures. In the tech industry, you can learn that PHP is a better way to code a product than Rails might be, based on trends. Retail entrepreneurs, for example, may adopt portions of the Lean Start-up Methodology because it’s powering tech start-ups. If they see it working for tech, they may see ways it can apply to their own businesses.