By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – As business leaders look to grow their bottom line in the coming year, technology should be part of the plan.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Fighting for Inclusion, Detroit's Place in Civil Rights History
Mark Phillips of Comcast Business Services said businesses should take an assessment of their technology needs and how customers may utilize a variety of services from Wi-Fi to websites in 2015.
“The ones that do it, and are not afraid of that technology, are the ones growing year over year,” said Phillips. “Don’t take (technology) for granted. If you take it for granted, guaranteed the competition isn’t and they are going to pass you up.”
Phillips said technology is important for both the operation of the business and servicing their customers.
This includes the traditional communication method of telephone service, which should be reviewed to determine if three-way calling, call forwarding or other options may be utilized. Businesses need to have a website, register their domain, have professional looking web addresses and email addresses tied the company name — rather than Gmail or Yahoo.
Businesses should also consider offering Wi-Fi to customers who may want to use their own smart phones and tablets inside the building.READ MORE: Karen Carter, and Others Metro Detroiters Chipped In To Help Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Radiothon
“Wi-Fi is one of those things where a few years ago it was nice to go into a business and they had it. Now it is almost a necessity,” Phillips said. “To be able to offer Wi-Fi to your customers is one of those major customer enriching experiences that you can offer them, and that will generate in repeat business.”
Those in business should also consider utilizing Cloud based services which can be cheaper by not requiring software licensing fees per employee, and not requiring the need for having servers on-site.
For those concerned about safety, Phillips stated that cloud computing is safe, constantly evolving and “here to stay.”
Businesses should also consider their bandwidth needs for today and the future.
“Whatever service people signed up for two years ago, that’s probably slowing down their business down today,” he stated. “Think about where you want your business to go not just today, but where you want to be in 24 months or in three years.”
By taking steps now, Phillips said business can be prepared for the future.MORE NEWS: Granholm Confirmed By Senate To Be Next Energy Secretary
“Part of the check-up for this year is to make those changes so you are putting yourself in a position so you can be competitive 24, 36 months down the road,” he said.