By Geoffrey Gray of Heeluxe
Being in the business of footwear innovation, I need to make thoughtful and consistent investments in tools and technology to help drive my business forward. However, it is just as important for these investments to be applicable, customer focused, affordable and deliver value.
I started Heeluxe, LLC from my very own garage. What originally debuted as the production of custom-made high-heel inserts has since evolved into a full-service biomechanical footwear testing facility. I believe my company’s growth and success closely aligns with the way in which my team and I have created a productive work environment and embraced technology and innovation.
As my business continues to expand, I’ve realized that technology – especially in the areas that keep the core operations running smoothly — plays a more crucial role in day-to-day operations. It’s not spending a fortune on the latest and greatest tech gadgets. It’s integrating tried-and-true office technology, like printing and scanning, with next-generation advancements – such as cloud computing and storage – to produce the perfect combination for success, convenience, and productivity.
Although many small businesses may believe there is little use for traditional office technology in today’s digital landscape, the 2016 Brother Business Survey suggests otherwise. According to the survey results, small business owners print an average of 10 times a day – that’s approximately 200 times per month. This is certainly the case in my office – and the way I do business. And these results show that I’m not alone – I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to innovate, digitize, and streamline my workflow, printing and scanning documents are essential in my operation.
Here’s a value-add example: we used to email presentations to our customers; if they want to draw diagrams and take notes, they have to print those hefty documents on their own devices. In the past year, we started printing them ourselves in high resolution on quality paper, and overnighting them to the customer. This approach may seem “old fashioned” – but offering this complete, finalized production reflects the effort, expertise, and quality of our work that we always strive to project (and accurately captures our business). The customer appreciates the added “service,” and the extra effort leaves a positive and lasting impression. And there’s nothing “old fashioned” about that.
By the way, allowing some “analog” with your digital workflow adds to efficiency. For example, my staff tells me that tracking research trials is much easier and quicker with pencil and paper than through a spreadsheet. As a result, we developed beautiful color-coded sheets, custom printed for each study. This reduces errors and improves efficiency. Full disclosure: we still use spreadsheets for tracking some elements of our business. However, utilizing the right combination of new and traditional cost-effective technologies brings a higher level of convenience and accuracy to our company’s daily tasks.
Today, my business is thriving and I couldn’t be happier with the success we’ve achieved. The growth and success of Heeluxe has involved the integration of the best available technology solutions that function to help keep productivity high and customers happy. If the Brother Business Survey is any indication of the future in office technology, printing and scanning are actually “cutting edge” and necessary for business efficiency and profitability.
Dr. Geoffrey Gray is the founder of Heeluxe. His background in Physical Therapy, professional athlete rehabilitation, woodworking, and classic car building give him a unique skill set to progress the research and design of all styles of footwear. Heeluxe has been part of the Brother Business Advisory Panel and has received compensation.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.