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Ignite The Gears Podcast: The Future of Your Business

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With us today is Anita Campbell. Anita is the Founder of Small Business Trends, and its CEO and Publisher. She will be talking to us today about the future businesses are stepping into. We will be covering everything your business needs to know about digital assistants, live streaming, and cloud software.

Digital Assistants

Digital assistants are not as far off into the future as you might think. In fact, you already know them as:

  • Siri from Apple
  • Cortana from Microsoft
  • Google Now from Google
  • Alexa from Amazon.

They act as your personal assistant and can be activated through voice commands or text messages.

Digital assistants have become incredibly sophisticated. They are able to do anything from tweeting, researching the internet, scheduling appointments, making reservations to even telling you jokes.We found an article detailing what the digital assistants are able to do and which do it better

For a small business, these digital assistants can be a huge relief. Often times it can be tedious scheduling appointments or trying to remember everything we need to finish today. These assistants step in to help you remember things and to make sure you follow up on your to-do list. All it takes is a simple voice command for your assistant to remind you.

Virtual assistants vs digital assistants

Digital assistants are not yet advanced enough to replace virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are human beings who work for you from a remote location. You usually interact with them entirely online or through the occasional phone call.

Virtual assistants are usually hired to do those task you might be too busy to do and which still require a human brain to process effectively. Like sorting through your emails, responding to clients, and reaching out to leads.

Virtual assistants are trained professionals who specialize in whatever you are asking from them. Think of them as your administrative assistant or secretary since their main focus is helping to take some weight off your shoulders.

The main lesson here is you do not have to choose one over the other. The digital assistant can easily handle your low-level administrative task like scheduling and reminders. Allowing you to pass on more complicated task to your virtual assistant.Both the digital assistant and the virtual assistant can work hand in hand.

How to use Digital Assistants

If you are not already, we encourage you to start experimenting with whatever digital assistant you have with you. We have included links to help you learn how to use them.

Start using whatever is available to you to its highest capability. These assistants will help your team’s productivity and remove the drudgery you face on a day to day basis.

Live Streaming

If you want to interact with your audience in real-time, live streaming should be on your list of strategies to use. With live streaming you are the on-the-spot broadcaster reporting live to all your fans. The best part is that you no longer need expensive equipment, you just need your phone.

The way it works is you download a live streaming app from your preferred app store. You create a profile and you are now able to stream live video recordings straight from your phone. The beauty of these apps is that anyone can easily pick it up and start broadcasting.

Tips and Tricks to Live Streaming

Any small business looking to use live streaming needs to know a few things. Live streaming is spontaneous with little ability to fix mistakes. If you say something you should not have, you have to deal with the consequences. Be ready to make mistakes and leave room for ambiguity. If you try to remember every line of dialogue you will be more likely to make a mistake.

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Keep in mind that many of the videos taken through live streams are temporary. Meaning that after 24 hours, the video you worked on will be gone. This can be a huge problem if you are trying to use these videos for your marketing. If you are using periscope, use the following link to learn how to save your videos

The Cloud

There was a time in which setting up a software package with your department was a huge deal. They were very expensive which meant you had to justify the cost through multiple meetings, writing proposals and having the money in your budget. Lastly, you had to schedule time with your IT to make sure everything would run smoothly. But now, everything is much simpler with the cloud

The cloud has been a huge game changer for small businesses. By having software that is readily available online, it has allowed any business access to an ever-expanding toolset. All without the usual technological and financial limitations that once haunted businesses.

Companies are now able to get a program up and running in minutes by simply creating an account online. Programs can be free or if they are paid then you just put in a credit card number. No more invoices to worry about since access through the software is paid on an annual or month to month basis.

Till next time…

Today we learned that business is stepping into a new age thanks to our advances in technology. Digital assistants are able to take off the drudgery we face from small menial tasks such as scheduling, reminders, and to-do list. While virtual assistants are able to take on our more complicated and time-consuming task such as sorting through emails,  responding to clients, and reaching out to leads. Live streaming is making it easier than ever for anyone to host their own live events. Offering a rich and new way to interact  and market to customers. Lastly, the cloud has changed the game by having software that is readily available online. Allowing any business access to an ever-expanding toolset without the usual technological and financial limitations that once haunted businesses.

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