Are you tired of feeling as if your business is behind the eight ball every time you have to compete with the “big guys?” Have you passed on possible opportunities because you felt that you just weren’t at “that level?” You aren’t alone. Every day, business owners feel that they cannot compete against bigger firms when it comes to winning the projects that can make a difference to their bottom line. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many businesses ares smaller than the “big guys,” but that doesn’t mean that they have to stand by and watch the biggest job slip through their fingers anymore. Today’s technology is lowering the barriers to entry and raising the level of performance and capability like never before.
Does it sound too good to be true? Today’s tablet technology allows you to take your designs into the field and beyond. Just look at these four reasons why buying tablets for business could be a very smart move.
1. Cost of Hardware. Death and taxes are not the only two things that you can rely on. The falling price of technology is another, and while the cost of workstations is falling, it cannot match the price of tablet technology. Where CAD workstations—especially a mobile CAD workstation—can cost $2,000 or more, tablets sit anywhere from 30 to as little as 10 percent of that cost!
Practice It: It is always wise to update your CAD workstation hardware on a regular, scheduled basis. So the next time you look to purchase hardware, consider sacrificing one upgrade. You may find that for every one workstation you delay upgrading, you can equip three to five (or more) designers with cutting-edge tablet technology.
2. Cost of Software. New pricing models of CAD software is certainly bringing high-end CAD applications into the hands of businesses. But high-end CAD software packages are table stakes in the world of design. Everyone has them… at their office. Tablet CAD applications, however, are priced at only a fraction of the cost of even the most economical desktop versions. A good portion of them are even free!
Practice It: Does the accumulative cost of CAD software have you down? Consider where tablet-based CAD applications can fit in to act as viewers, markup tools, and even full-blown CAD editors. These applications cost a fraction of the price of their desktop cousins. You may even learn that the desktop subscriptions you already have entitle you to high-quality mobile CAD software for no additional cost.
3. Take Design to the Client. With selection-committee interviews, impromptu client meetings, and field visits being a part of everyday life for design professionals, mobility is a true advantage. While the big guys rely on familiar desktop tools and bring their clients to them, you can use tablet technology to take your designs to your clients’ offices, job sites, or any other place you can imagine.
Practice It: Make the most of your mobile technology. The next time you need to meet with your clients for a milestone review, take the opportunity to escape the confines of the office. Take your tablet and meet your clients at job sites, in their favorite restaurant, or even over a latte. Use your mobile prowess to take your clients to a variety of places.
4. Fashion Is Always In. Clients may think that they are concerned with only “the work,” but the truth is that we are all creatures of consumption, raised in a mass-media world. We are accustomed to seeking out the clues as to who is “in fashion” and keeping up with the “bleeding edge.” By integrating the latest, most convenient mobile technology into your small business, you will assure your clients that they are selecting a design professional who is current with technology, design, and the times!
Practice It: You are already moving up in the world by leaving large, clunky workstations and laptops back in the 1990s. So treat yourself and get more than a standard case or cover that anyone else could have. Take the next step and get a nice leather portfolio, or even a custom one bearing your firm’s logo. It always pays to put your best foot forward and dress things up a bit.
Taking any (or, hopefully, all) of these steps can do nothing but show your clients that you are not just another person with a workstation and desktop tools. You will show them that you are agile, stylish, and keeping up with technology. Use your mobile tech smartly, and you will show them that it is just the icing on the cake of what they can come to expect from your firm.