A recent survey conducted by Braun Research for Chase Business indicated that over 83% of business owners feel they need to keep up with technology to stay competitive. This might seem like a daunting task given today’s tech crazy world.

 

Techonology is changing around us at an exponential speed.

 

From smart phones, to smart homes, to smart cars it seems you always have to be connected and using technology in some way to stay relevant.

 

Interestingly enough, of that same 83%, 73% of them feel they are keeping up successfully.

 

 

So how do you keep up with technology to stay competitive?

 

You find shortcuts.

 

You find others who do it for you. You find ways to learn quickly without having to pioneer.

 

I am constantly looking for shortcuts using technology to make me more efficient and more successful. I read blogs, ask other business owners, and try to determine how it can help me.

 

1. Evernote

 

This isn’t new technology. But it is huge in business. Evernote allows me to capture emails, jot down notes, take photos of articles or even signs along the road that I want to capture. The software then is capable of searching the image or document for key words.

 

It stores everything you don’t want to have to store in your brain.

 

The free version works for most. I use the premium.

 

It is easily accessible on all platforms and devices. Now I always have access to what I need when I need it.

 

If you aren’t using Evernote, start using it today.

2. Dropbox

 

Dropbox is the ultimate file manager for me. I subscribe to the premium version which is $9.99 a month and get 1 TB of data.

 

I use this for everything. From word files, to PDFs, to our entire family photo digital archive (which I do also have backed up on a drive).

 

Having access to all files all the time is amazing. It is really great on mobile devices because it pulls from the cloud instead of the desktop version which stores files on your hard drive.

 

I never have to worry about if my files are backed up. I always have access to my files on the go. And it easily allows me to share any file I want with a unique URL.

 

There is a free version and if you get others to sign up you get extra free storage.

 

Do you have control over your files? Are you certain that if something happened or you were hijacked by a virus you would always have access to your files?

Dropbox is the answer for file storage.

3. Ruby Receptionists & Ring Central

 

This is a double shot! 2 Technologies that work together to help with phones.

 

Ruby Receptionists is a virtual answering service. It isn’t like most services that sound like a call center and you never know what you will get. Ruby does an amazing job of sounding and acting just like they are sitting at my office.

 

I have a staff of 7 people, but the day is very busy. Any time savings – such as someone else grabbing the phone – helps them be more productive.

 

They can easily route a call to the right person, to voicemail or take a message and you get it right away.

 

Combine that with Ring Central – a phone service internet provider – and now you have even more ease with phones.

 

Ring Central emails me an audio file of all voicemail. It can easily forward calls to my cell phone or other number of choice. It comes with many customizable features for multiple users or just for me.

 

By combining these two services I have been able to become more mobile and allow my customers to always get a live person on the phone.

 

 

So there are 3 technology tools I use to make sure I stay ahead of my competitors. Are you using these 3 technologies?

 

If not, what technology do you use to stay ahead of the competition?

 

Share in the comments below!