Choosing the Right Tech Solutions for Your Business
Investing in technology remains a top priority for small business.
Surveys show that while small business owners understand the value of new technologies, they struggle with choosing the right products, as well as the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business.
1. Small businesses should be strategic in their technology purchase decisions. Some important factors to keep in mind are:
a. Budget – Decide what you can afford to spend, and stick to it. Solutions can always be scaled up or down to fit any size budget.
b. Skills – People are the users of the system. Make sure the people using the new system you purchased have the basic skills needed to be productive. Buying a system that takes months of training before anyone can use it, is counterproductive.
c. Need – Focus on the business problem you want to solve. Technology for technology sake is no good. The best litmus test is looking at what you need, not in terms of technology, but looking at what will it take for your business to grow. A more informed staff? Easier access to information? Better training? Ability to more easily work together? .
d. Company – Companies are constantly changing. Over time your business will expand, and maybe even contract. As your company grows, your technology needs will become more sophisticated. Choose a solution that has the ability to grow as your business grows.
2. It is important to Identify which emerging technologies meet your business needs in order to make running your business more efficient.
3. It is crucial for business owners to, not only choose products, but also team up with a knowledgeable, professional tech team / teammate who can help them before, during and after the purchase. By partnering with a sound tech team, business owners can avoid second-guessing themselves and making critical mistakes.
For example, poor backup strategies have led to a wipe out of client records.
4. Work within a pre-established budget that aligns with your company’s current financial situation and future goals. Working within a budget will help you avoid purchasing additional technological perks and add-ons your company doesn’t need.
5. Research your technology solutions and do your homework thoroughly beforehand to avoid unexpected costs. Fixing problems and maintaining technology are two major challenges small business owners face, so choosing high-quality technological solutions on the outset will save time and money down the road.
6. One of the best ways to make the right technology choice and stay on budget is to figure out your company’s specific needs. As a small business owner, you want to adopt technologies that will work within your existing business and produce a return on investment.
Identify which business processes you want to change / implement. Do you want to make your data more secure? Or automate certain processes? You should fully understand how a specific technology will meet your requirements before you make a purchase.
Conduct a technology inventory of your business as it stands. What technology do you already have? How well is it serving your business? Put all of your current technology into three categories (good, bad, needs improvement) as a starting point.
7. Make sure your new technology can be integrated with your existing systems. And, some technologies are not compatible with each other. Make sure all products are compatible with each other.
8. Have a backup plan in case of a disaster. Backup, Cloud Storage and other possibilities.
9. When choosing tech solutions, be careful not to choose products that can easily become obsolete.