Did you have a car 10 or 20 years ago? When you went to have it serviced, way back when, it was a very different experience. These days it’s all computerized, pinpoint diagnosis – never mind that cars are just way more reliable than they used to be.

I asked a group of CEOs of small businesses how technology had changed their businesses in the past ten years – changed how they get the business and how they deliver on it:

How Technology has Changed Some Businesses in the Past Decade

Type of Company Biggest Technology Impact
Executive search firm. LinkedIn for Candidate searches.

Specialized recruitment software.

Event planning and design. Social Media.

Easy availability of design ideas online.

Remote working (Skype, WebEx).

Design software.

Software as a Service. SaaS-based Customer Relationship Management.

Project management and issues tracking systems.

SEO to get traffic to the website.

Remote meetings.

Custom art manufacturer. Website has increased traffic ten-fold.

YouTube “Show and Tell” of their art pieces.

Design and construction. Email, blogging and social media for extended communications.

Design software/much less printing and paper.

Law firm, investment group. Email, social media.

Remote meetings.

Website and SEO to attract customers.

Template libraries for proposals.

Online legal research.

Efiling for legal cases.

Business coaching. LinkedIn for networking.

e-Newsletter.

Online calendaring.

Online communication with clients.

Consumer goods marketing. LinkedIn for contacts.

Being able to work anywhere (mobility).

Texting.

YouTube, Instagram and twitter for sharing our work.

Adobe products for design.

Better presentations.

 

How has technology changed your business? Were you doing things the same way 10 years ago? How has what you’re selling changed? Has that happened in the past two or three years? Should it?

TIP: When you make the decision that it’s time to change your offer to keep it fresh, extending from what you’re already doing makes the most sense. Keep to the path, don’t go wandering out into the woods. It’s a dangerous neighborhood. Moving too far away from your core competence starts to confuse the marketplace.

More in my next blog.