Let’s set the scene with a quick little metaphor.
Some years back, a man we’ll call Tom, half-noticed he was tired all the time. Tom lacked energy, had trouble getting going at times, and little stamina.
Tom was a busy man and didn’t give much attention to the symptoms. He just figured whatever it was would pass. Finally, a relative of his, we’ll call her wife, persuaded him to make a doctor appointment.
The doctor informed Tom he had a heart blockage, and bypass surgery was required.
Shocked, Tom said he’d get something scheduled. It would probably take a month or so to arrange his schedule enough to get it done.
“Sir,” the doctor replied, “we are not releasing you from this hospital without getting this taken care of. You are at tremendous risk as we speak. This needs to be done in days, not months. If we let this go, you won’t be here in a couple months.”
The severity of the situation was laid out. The truth is the symptoms were there for quite some time. Tom just didn’t recognize them for what the problem really was.
And even when the issue was pointed out, the severity still wasn’t a reality. It had to come down to a measurable amount of time before fatality was possible for Tom to take action.
Want to know something?
Everything Tom experienced with his health could be pulsing through the arteries of your business right now.
There might be certain signs you think about in the back of your mind, but aren’t aware of what they really mean, or the urgency they represent.
Maybe you feel like something isn’t quite right in your business, but the busy schedule justifies ignoring it for now.
Difficulty getting a head of steam going in client growth?
Have bursts of fiscal energy, but weak stamina?
If those signs meant your business was actually trying to warn you it was floundering at the heart and could fail tomorrow, would that motivate you to look into it today?
If high blood pressure is the silent heart killer in humans, low technology is its equal in business.
Check this out.
Let’s assume for instance, you are a small vending operator. I know you’re not, but let’s assume. Play with me here.
Arriving at the shop, the truck has already been loaded with much more product than needed, to account for unexpected sales.
The route is methodically serviced according to a static schedule on the clipboard. Along the route, you find out sales at one account are very low because of a problem with the top selling machine over the weekend, and no one bothered to call it in.
You have to take time from the route to repair the machine, but eventually you get back out there.
Even though sales were up on a couple accounts, which was awesome, you found a few accounts didn’t even need to be serviced. You did anyway, because you drove to this part of town and are standing at the machine. You aren’t about to come back just for this one in a couple days.
Arriving back at the office a bit tired and quite late, money is counted. Data is entered, and the truck is again overloaded with product for tomorrow’s prescheduled–some need filling and some don’t– static route. You finally go home.
Everything seems simple enough, right?
Until one day a company develops software which taps into 21st century technology built into today’s vending machines.
This software will alert the office if there is a break-in, if there’s a lack of sales due to a problem with a machine, or prevent loss of sales when a preset amount of sales or empty selections exist.
This software will let you remotely inventory machines from the office over a cup of coffee. So, only what is needed to fill today’s route is loaded on the truck. There is no more overloading the truck with product that won’t be used.
It will even determine dynamic scheduling–whether there is a need to service a particular account that day or not. No more traveling to locations only to find out they don’t need servicing.
It will allow dynamic scheduling of routes around a problematic machine which saves lost sales, and increases route efficiencies at the same time.
Basically, this software streamlines a company right into idol truck time sitting in the lot.
The truck sits in the parking lot nearly half the time it did before even though sales have actually increased due to the smart data the software produced.
Of course, that means there is opportunity for more accounts, more sales, more profits.
For the same or even less time spent previously, nearly double the sales can be achieved. Now that is using technology to make your company heart-healthy, right?
There is one problem.
Remember the symptoms you experienced? Sluggish sales, trouble getting some momentum going, and burst of energy with weakened stamina? Remember you didn’t really know what the signs represented?
That’s right. You don’t’ even know the lack of technology is creeping its way through your companies arteries like bacon grease towards the heart. You aren’t aware artery cleansing technology exists yet.
Or if you do, you haven’t been able to take the time to look into it, or so you think.
Okay, just like Tom, you’ve now been made aware of the problem to your business and you think, “Wow, I see why I’ve been struggling. I need to get this taken care of. It will take me some time to get this worked out, maybe a few months.”
If there were a business doctor in the room he or she might say…
“Sir, you don’t understand. You are at tremendous risk as we speak. If one of your competitors approaches your clients with the customized route servicing they can supply through innovative technology, your business won’t be here in a couple months.”
Even though you know what caused the symptoms in your business, and understand the severity of the situation, there is still a problem. There is the matter of finding some cash to get the blockage removed.
You estimate roughly $20,000 is needed for the software, additional vending equipment, and accessories to allow the software to do its job. You’ve allowed for the outfitting of current machines, but also equipment for the additional accounts you’ll get with all the extra time you’ll have.
It’s a chunk of change, but that’s okay. You’ve calculated the return on investment will take only six-months or so to occur.
There is one last blockage to clear up. It will take a few days to get an appointment at the local bank, they’ll gather your information, send it off to some underwriter who doesn’t know anything about your character, and it’s pretty certain in three-weeks they’ll deny you anyway. They don’t lend money for equipment that you don’t have accounts for yet.
Besides, there is a loan for the truck and the distributor is floating the vending machine financing already, there is little chance they’ll go for it.
The answer? Again technology.
There are companies that not only understand business situations like yours, but they use technology and non-traditional methods to approve loans.
Imagine if you decided right this instant you needed that software. You went on-line, gave a reputable lender your bank information, QuickBooks information, even your social media feeds. They looked at you as a business owner: your ability to pay, character, and stability.
You aren’t evaluated by some post-recession statistics, but personalized information accumulated through today’s technology.
Here’s what’s amazing.
You could decide now you need the equipment and software, go on-line to apply for the money, get approved, have the money transferred to your bank, order the equipment the business needs, and find it took less time to do all that than it did driving to the last vending site you found didn’t need servicing that day.
Reality is, by the time your traditional bank notified you of a denial, you could already have removed the artery clogging sales problem in your business and be using your new technology to potentially double your sales.
Tell me technology isn’t crucial to business success today.
If you aren’t using technology in your business, and your competition is, how much longer will your business be here?
Don’t ignore the signs and symptoms. Don’t wait until you suffer a fatal attack at the heart of your business.
I know you aren’t a vending contractor. I can guarantee you though, there is blockage cleansing technologies in the heart of nearly every field today.
Find out where it is in yours, and use it.
If you need finances to get it done and know you will be a success, you can always get in touch with a reputable technology driven lender like Kabbage.
They are a 21st century, technology driven lender serving an unmet need of business owners with a plan and a passion.
You can red more about what Time, Forbes, Bloomberg, and MSNBC say about Kabbage.
Disclosure. I receive nothing for mentioning Kabbage on this post. I simply feel it is an innovative lender using technology to help companies reach goals otherwise blocked by traditional lenders. Borrow responsibly.