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The Future is Now written on desert roadThis last week, a monumental event occurred. 30 years in the making, we have been waiting for the exact date when Marty McFly came ‘back to the future’ with Doc Brown, to the date October 21, 2015. These events are all recorded in the film “Back to the Future II” by Steven Spielberg.

Google can quickly provide you with a dozen articles written in the last week talking about how well BttF II predicted future changes, but I’d like to focus on how business has changed, including changes correctly presented by the film (and a few missed).

We have seen a lot of change occur in these last 30 years, a lot of which was accurately predicted by the film: video conferencing, tiny portable cameras, mobile credit card readers and of course, the Apple Watch. But do these technological advances mean a change in how you do business? Has business, from large to small, changed in 30 years? Certainly it has in some ways.

Video conferencing – get into the future with the way you communicate. You can now call, text, video chat (imessage, skype, hangout, facetime), email, post to a wall, tweet and ping both internally with your employees, and externally with customers, business leads, and business partners. Communication is critical.

The iPHONE! While not completely foreseen in Back to the Future, many elements of smartphones were in place in the film. Most prominently, tiny portable cameras – the camera, even on your iphone (smartphone) allows you to go out into your warehouse or factory floor, or even get together the office staff and take some pictures, and immediately post them on your website. Get some good images up on your pages!

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Mobile credit card readers – you can now take a credit card payment on your phone, and more importantly, get on board with some modern ways to take payment. In the last decade, PayPal has dominated the market and is one of the most popular ways to exchange payment online. With Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Amazon Payments fighting for position, it behooves any business to get up to speed.

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Drones: it’s becoming popular (and cheaper by the day) to either hire someone, or buy one yourself, to get footage of your property, or even inside your warehouse! Either way, you can always find a way to showcase your business with higher quality, better and larger images on websites, that will take advantage of larger and better quality screens.

A few things were NOT predicted by that film. The biggest, of course, is the ubiquity of the Internet in our lives. Along with that, I think, is the understanding that we would become so very social online.

What does that mean for your business? Social connection with your customers on a level never even imagined possible in 1985. Now you can literally ‘talk’ to your customers on a regular basis through Facebook and Twitter.

eCommerce, run well, means you can sell to your customers without almost any direct communication. They can perform a Google search, see your page or AdWords ad, navigate to your website, shop your wares or services, fill their ‘shopping cart’, checkout and pay you all while you and your company is asleep!

So get up to speed with the technology available to you, improve that quality of content on your website, and get Back to the Future!

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