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Technology and family business: Top three trends

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According to statistics, seventy-eight percent of millennial business leaders say that they'd like to leverage technology to better manage the business. However, the implementation of new technologies may be even harder in family-owned companies compared to a corporation.

Another interesting fact: 37% of the next generation business leaders report struggling to get the business to understand the importance of having a digital strategy. Older people prefer not to fix things that are not broken, and so they might miss a lot of growth opportunities.

Today we will talk about three top tech trends affecting family businesses right now and may have a crucial impact in the future.

Moving offline business online

Another top trend is reaching a wider audience by using technology. Very often, family-owned offline businesses are stuck in the past and miss a lot of opportunities to competitors who do not hesitate to go online.

So, adding new technologically advanced communication channels is a crucial step towards success in the 21st century. For example, the company Ashely Douglas was a small jewelry store making wedding rings in Brisbane, Australia. Now the business has its own website, where customers can book a consultation, find information on all services and goods sold. The implementation of a website allowed the company to reach thousands of new potential customers.

AI for cost optimization

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic in multiple industries, and family businesses are often among them. AI-based tools allow management teams can make better decisions, assess data more efficiently, and reduce costs.

However, the implementation of AI in a family business is a bit different thing. It would help if you took into account the processes and management style of the previous generation managers and family members. Often this means that instead of deploying the tech everywhere at once, it's better to implement it in those areas that need the most significant help.

An example of such step-by-step implementation is a Japanese family business called Snow Peak. This company produces outdoor gear and apparel. The industry is now using predictive analytics to gather and unify data in real-time across different markets. The management is now able to make targeted suggestions for future purchases and increased its revenue.

Blockchain for higher transparency

AI is not the only innovative trend, blockchain is the one to mention also. The tech behind Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies have also been adopted by family businesses. The main practical application of this tool is reaching high transparency, fighting fraud, and corruption, which is often hard to do with traditional means (especially for small companies).

Here is an example of a small family business using blockchain. Scheid Family Wines implemented the distributed ledger technology for tracking its supply chain. This means that you can scan a QR code at a wine bottle and get the complete information about the vineyard of the origin or harvest dates.

Final thoughts

While it may seem that technology is something that corporations should implement and can really ripe the benefits, the practice tells that small family-owned company can jump on this bandwagon as well.

The process of new tech implementation might be harder than usual. Still, it is the millennial top managers' task to persuade their previous generation business partners and describe all opportunities that will take the business to a new level!
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