The advent of technology has increasingly allowed businesses and entrepreneurs to mitigate and even eliminate many barriers that exist when running a company. But how does one close the gap on accessibility in what is increasingly becoming a global marketplace? With apps now available at our fingertips via smartphones and computer programs, technology has become an integral piece in an entrepreneur’s toolkit by providing seamless access to everyone around the world. Here are a few ways your company can eliminate problems that have been holding it back from becoming a competitor in a global marketplace.
Communication is Key
All modern businesses exist in a global economy, so serving people in only one language is pigeon-holing your business from the start. If people don’t understand your message or if you can’t understand their questions, then there’s no possible way for your business to help them. Luckily, there are a myriad of smartphone translation apps available to enable your business to better serve its customers. For example, iTranslate Voice 3 allows users to simply speak sentences into their phones so that the app can translate and speak in one of 42 languages.
Google Translate’s app and web platform supports 103 different languages. The SayHi app provides translation and transcription services in 90 languages and dialects and allows users to choose the speed that their voice is expressed when translated. TextGrabber allows you to use your phone’s camera to scan and translate any printed text from an image, essentially turning your phone’s camera into an on-the-fly translator. TripLingo includes a variety of add-ons that aid in the seamless conducting of business such as a selection of key phrases and image translator. The software also has information on the safety and cultural norms from around the globe, helping you blend in like a local. TripLingo is available for free or in a Pro version that unlocks more content and costs $39.99 for three months. Whether you’re able to spend to mitigate your differences or need to rely on free apps there is no shortage of options when it comes to translation. Investing time and money into the software will only help your company compete in the global market.
Blah, Blah, Blog
These days it would seem counter-intuitive to not have a website, but the costs can add up quickly for those on a budget and it may not work to your strengths as an entrepreneur. To save on time (and the costs of running a website and hiring writers) businesses can start their own podcast or a personal YouTube channel. Not only are they free to set up, but they also allow entrepreneurs to speak directly to their audience which helps to ensure they broadcast their key selling feature to the target demographic. The audience has the choice of listening to snippets or the entire message at once and can digest the information at their own pace. With the options comments and “Likes” or “Dislikes”, podcasts and videos allow for near instantaneous feedback. This allows the audience to feel engaged in the conversation and will only increase their fandom as they feel they have become part of the organization.
There’s more to it than just connecting with your customers. There are now plenty of ways to get connected with your employees. With apps like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Workopolis providing employers with instant access to applicants, finding the right person for your company has never been easier. Applicants increasingly put their information out in public in the hopes of finding their next big gig. At the touch of a button employers can find all the information they need about applicants so they can easily work out which one will be the perfect fit. Applicants can also see what the expectations are for the available positions, potential salary, and what skills they need to demonstrate to come out on top. There are even job review sites that you can visit to let you know about a potential company’s work culture.
It’s not just about new applicants, though. Google Drive allows for the seamless transfer and sharing of files amongst employees and can work as a shared storage place for photos, videos, and documents. This allows your entire workforce to get connected with one another and to collaborate on assignments, ensuring documents pass through more than one set of eyes before they are finalized.
Whether it’s sharing files amongst your employees, communicating with customers across the globe, or utilizing file sharing systems to increase productivity, the technology is there to mitigate most barriers or problems. It is no longer cost prohibitive for companies to compete with each other across the globe to better serve customers. Smaller companies are now able to service people across the world and it’s opened up new avenues for aspiring entrepreneurs to compete with the larger companies.
Joshua J. Cooper | Contributing Writer