Innovative Products and Services – What’s Hot in 2016

5th August 2016

Electronic Questionnaires
I haven’t posted a parent or teacher questionnaire or a service agreement to a client for years. Instead I use interactive pdf documents that clients can fill out and e-sign, save and return via email. Jot Form is proving helpful and a more formal cloud based service. Jot Form has hundreds of customisable forms you can use or adapt, alternatively you can build your own. I find that teachers in particular appreciate the electronic version and it’s so much easier for them to attach it directly into the students e-file.

I have mentioned this organisation previously. This website enables clients to search for providers, they can compare providers and contact the providers they select directly. Totally established to meet participant needs within the NDIA environment. Providers have very detailed profiles that include video, links to social media, articles, content and documents. Providers need to sign up and there are varying levels of monthly payment plans. I strongly encourage you to take a glance and at least register for the ‘free level’ and get your business loaded up. For larger businesses who can manage the premium membership it is possible to post events, create promotions, photos, list products and classifieds, contact members and more. Their site and newsletter have comprehensive content. Hmmm innovative and super interesting.

This awesome app sits alongside your calendar and lets people make their own bookings with you. It reduces the email tag for scheduling appointments, meetings, calls and more. Big time saver and a boost to customer service as they can connect with you when mutually convenient. You can get started for free by signing up with your email address. Once signed up you set your specific windows of availability and email people your personal Calendly link that they can use to book a time with you. When they select the time they want Calendly talks and syncs with your own diary and books the time in. Nifty.

Anybody using Yammer? A colleague best described it as Facebook for business. A cloud based social network meets work platform where teams can communicate, share tasks and projects and get things done. Some of my coaching clients are using secret Facebook groups to gather and lead their teams. There are several similar virtual teaming products, nothing that google can’t help you discover. Lots of more project and task based products such as Asana, Trello and Slack, all of which are outstanding.

Pokémon Go
Getting up to speed on all things Pokémon Go is critical for professional development. Children and families are talking about it. Children of all ages are increasingly walking the neighbourhoods gathering and nurturing Poke Balls (needed to catch Pokémon and then they hatch into Pokémon). They are outdoors, searching and catching Pokémon, and battling up levels in Gyms. A friends teen who has high functioning ASD spent two hours walking with his mum, time, distance, weather forgotten as he was intent on catching Pokémon. Other stories are appearing on social media about language and attention and play being enhanced by this augmented reality phenomenon.
Interestingly businesses globally are experimenting with ways to bring Pokémon and their gatherers into their business locations. And they are succeeding. A café owner friend of mine purchased a ‘Lure” for a set duration. During that time Pokémon were attracted to that location, and so were their hungry and thirsty hunters. Bazinga. The Lure radically increased her foot traffic and nicely generated repeat customers. Could this work for private practice? I wonder, particularly with those businesses that have a shop front or a toy offer. Perhaps a Lure could be used for a location at which you are holding a specific event. This is so new and the mind boggles about what the future holds in the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality space.

Website Management
I am amazed how many people are not able to make changes to their own websites. Simple changes such as uploading blogs, images, videos, changing words and prices; adding events that people can book into and pay for…. and so on. All these tweaks must cost them a fortune! Not to mention all the time it takes. I am familiar with WordPress and it isn’t hard to use. I can do it. For my new website I had the WordPress operations sorted within a couple of hours’ worth of immersion. I can now do virtually everything I need. So, is this something you should be learning about? What difference would it make to the management of your website?

This article featured in the August Edition of Paeds Biz

Curious to find out more about Cathy’s work and how it may help you, your team and your business. Give her a call or email today, and you can always book a complimentary 30 minutes consult.