The New Business World
Our business goals for 2012 include being both Paperless and Mobile as much as possible. Both goals go hand-in-hand because the more we can and do work from places other than our home office the more paper and the need for a printer get in the way. Ultimately we would like to be able to run our business from anywhere in the world.
In order to get more mobile we have now become an “Apple Family” with two new Macbook Pros plus an iPad we’ve had for a while and Jeff’s iPhone. (Tara still has a Palm smart phone, but not for long). We went with Apple for various reasons with one being the ease of service and support in-person, online and by phone and the great staff at Apple Store locations anywhere. The new computers also have 9 hours battery life which is a great bonus! We are both now using the iCal calendar system, the Apple address book and iCloud so that all meetings and all contacts are shared between all four of our current devices seamlessly. 
Webinar Series
Our next step in going mobile is to offer for the first time the speaking sessions that Jeff has done live for various golf associations and other groups as an online webinar series. This way we can reach a much greater audience and share best practices without the costs (both monetary and environmental) of travel. The webinar also allows individual golf course owners and managers and other business professionals a chance to participate if they have not been able to attend recent conferences or industry meetings. While the webinars have some references to golf we also use examples from other sports and other customer service businesses. The best practices discussed are relevant to all industries not just golf.
For this webinar series the audio will be ‘listen only’ with the chance to answer questions via the GotoWebinar platform or through Twitter. Tara will monitor the questions while Jeff speaks. Future plans include smaller group discussions in which a group of 10 or less professionals can discuss and debate a specific topic (i.e. a virtual Meet-Up). For more information on the three part webinar series -“Get Into the Conversation” visit our home page.
In an attempt to go paperless we have started using Drop Box to share documents between ourselves and also with the designers and programmers we work with. We also send all of our invoices electronically and as much paperwork to our bookkeeper as possible the same way. We have signed up for EFT deposits from two clients that offer this service and hope that more companies start to consider this option. One area of frustration is still Revenue Canada (surprise, surprise). Even though we remit all of our govenrment payments online they insist on sending us forms in the mail that we never use. If anyone has figured out how to stop these forms from coming please let us know.
We will also be posting more of our work and thoughts online. We have expanded our blog to include both a personal and a business blog. We are also now providing a business paper “How to make the Most out of Networking” to anyone who signs up for our eNewsletter. We plan to continue to post both golf industry and other business writings online. Visit our home page to sign-up for our eNewsletter and download the paper.
On the non-business front we have imported all of our photos into iPhoto which is a great program. You can create various albums (we have both personal and business albums) and tag photos with facial recognition to easily find ones your are looking for. We are, of course, still posting some photo’s on Flickr. We are also in the process of uploading over 200 CDs into iTunes. The next step is learning to love reading on the iPad. So far a business book, newspaper or white paper seem OK but it is still hard to give up that feeling you get when reading a great paperback curled up on the couch. 
So, what does this all mean? What are the chances that any of this will be relevant to our youngest nephew who is now one year old? Will he know what paper and an internet cable even are? Please share your comments. Any tips and suggestions for mobile and/or paperless products are greatly appreciated.