By Monique Valeris for America’s Backbone Weekly
The success of almost every business today depends heavily on technology. When you choose the best technology for the size and nature of your medium- or small-business, you increase efficiency and profits. Avoid these seven mistakes and learn the best ways to leverage technology to advance your small or medium business.
Failure to define business goals
In order to implement the right technology for your business, you need to set clear goals. Are you looking to boost profits by a specific percentage over the next year? Do you want to improve a certain aspect of customer service? Is there an issue with the current process being used to fulfill orders? Understanding the areas where technology can resolve common business dilemmas will save you time and money. Obviously it’s okay for your business goals to evolve along with technology, your customers’ needs, and other changes in the marketplace.
Neglecting feedback from colleagues
Needless to say it’s important to conduct thorough research about any new technology you’re considering for your business. As part of the research process, ask colleagues in similar industries about technologies that were beneficial to their business. You’ll be surprised how these conversations can spark ideas for your own business needs and lead to more informed decisions about technology investments.
Not seeking out employees’ opinions
Any business owner understands the value in staying connected to their employees’ opinions. Your employees should be considered from the time you begin researching possible tech solutions to the point you implement them. Your employees will usually be the first people to identify areas in need of improvement, and to offer solutions to improve your business overall.
Not connecting with your customers
As a business owner, it can be easy to assume what your customers need—instead of asking them directly. Whether you produce a formal survey to gather feedback on your business, or simply make a greater effort to speak to them directly, this process can be key to choosing the right technology to elevate your business.
Not sticking to your budget
It’s crucial to be honest about how much money you can spend on technology. You know the ins and outs of your business, as well as the specific long- and short-term goals you have set, so adhere to a budget that makes sense for you. Remember to allot funds for backup tech support in case of an emergency, and for instances when you may need additional services to support the growth of your business, or to assist with a future special marketing initiative.
Choosing the first offer without shopping around
There are a ton of companies who specialize in technology solutions for small and medium businesses. Don’t just settle for the first package you’re offered. Take the time to shop around and review different offers. You’ll feel more confident in your choice knowing you have done your research when deciding on the best coverage needed for your business.
Overlooking tech support
Unless you have an in-house tech specialist, it’s always a good idea to inquire about support. Your vendor can offer training sessions for employees and be available to quickly handle any glitches that may arise down the road.
If you take the time to prepare, do your homework, and avoid these common mistakes before investing in any tech, you’ll be guaranteed to make wise choices that save or make you money while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your business.