Are you using the right technology for your small business?
E-mail management. Mobile security. Tablets. Webinars. And the 3,000 other technologies today’s small business owner could use to improve efficiency, cut down on redundancy, and make more money – if only you knew what tech tools to use and which to avoid. We have to admit that the title of this post is a bit misleading, as we can’t answer that question. You may never truly know if you have the absolute best technology for your business, but you can be confident in how you leverage technology if you follow these three pieces of advice.
Four tips for making sure you’re getting as much as possible from small business technology.
Tech tip 1: Prioritize
Identify one or two key functional or operational areas within your business where you’d like to see improvement and quantify the improvement you’d like to see. Maybe a 10% increase in order accuracy would save thousands of dollars; perhaps freight fees are killing you and you’d like to figure out how to lower them by 25%. By focusing on these critical functional areas, you are prioritizing where technology can help you the most. Once you address these, you can move on to others, until you get all the way down your list.
Tech tip 2: Research
Identify a couple of small business technology news sources, like Small Biz Technology, The New York Times, or BizTech, that you like and find easy to digest. Subscribe to their e-newsletters and follow them on social media to get useful small business technology every day.
Also identify resources for the specific applications you want to highlight. For example, if email marketing is one of your target areas, follow MailChimp. If you’re looking for a CRM, follow HubSpot. Look for the leaders for that particular type of solution. It doesn’t mean you necessarily need to adopt their product, but they’ll educate you on what’s available and help you determine what features you need. Your list of sources may shift over time, as you identify and implement new solutions.
Tech tip 3: Rinse and repeat
Monitor the news with an eye toward articles focusing on your identified areas. It will be hard, as there will be oodles of other tantalizing tech tidbits urging you to consider them your new priority. Don’t! Solve your existing issues and save other ideas to a “future list.”
And then repeat, and repeat, and repeat – with those “future list” items, and also with new problems and areas for improvement. There will never be a point at which you can say, “Whew! The tech stuff is done and done!” But you will have a system for managing both your technology needs and the constant flow of tech information.
Tech tip 4: Reevaluate
With technology constantly evolving, your needs will evolve as well. While it’s not always necessary – or prudent – to have every shiny new technology, you’ll want to keep on top of new products and services that can help your business.
In addition to keeping up with new technologies that will benefit your business, you also need to be aware of new threats. Like productivity applications, malware, and other cyber threats are constantly evolving. Cyber security insurance can protect your business from data breaches, hacks, and even a misplaced laptop. Learn more and get a quote to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build.