Wasting money is one thing but wasting time is worse. For small businesses, falling into either of these traps is very easy. Implementing wrong solutions and making wrong decisions can end up costing you in the long run. As a small business owner, ask yourself these questions about technology:
1. Does the current tech solution support what my business does best?
A small business changes and grows with every passing day; operations change, competencies shift, and best practices morph with time – and so should your technology!
The key is to stay current, adapt to new industry practices, and replace outdated hardware and processes. Always choose a technology that supports everyday tasks but also helps you scale up as your business grows.
2. Am I spending too much on technology?
Small businesses tend to invest in multiple solutions that ultimately accomplish similar tasks.
Instead of opting for different solutions for each function, pick technology solutions that perform multiple functions. This reduces the cost factor and makes it easier to learn one solution thoroughly.
3. What are the costs involved?
Look beyond the capital expenditure and think about recurring costs. Maintenance, support, and other expenses like training, installation, customization etc. need to be factored in too.
Although these costs appear to be insignificant, they can add up very quickly. Hence, find out about these costs upfront and choose a solution that best suits your budget.
4. Where can I store my data?
Of late, small businesses have started using Cloud to store their data. This might initially seem like a lofty concept, but with time you will realize it’s worth it.
Cloud is faster and allows you immediate access. What’s more, with Cloud you can be mobile – and run things from anywhere at any time! So it’s definitely worth considering for its advantages.
5. How will the technology generate profits for my company?
There is no point in using technology that doesn’t help lower your business costs or increase revenue. Buying technology should be a measured decision. If the current system in place is working fine, let it run until it becomes obsolete. Unless, of course, the new piece of technology can assist your business significantly and help generate sufficient ROI.
6. How long has the technology been around?
Your small business needs something on the leading edge and not something that’s on the edge of bleeding out. Use tried-and-tested products that have good ratings and reviews. The first release of anything is likely to be buggy, so step back, let your rivals give it a shot first, and wait for them to discover any shortcomings to be addressed in the next iteration.
7. Am I comfortable with the level of risk?
As more people go digital, cybercrime has been growing too. But this is just a portion of the risk. Software failure can cost a company a fortune, apart from losing customers. A comprehensive system needs to be in place to assess the full spectrum of risks (such as vendor failure, hacking attacks, technical failure, etc.)
8. Will my business get affected if ‘X’ piece goes offline?
Every company has important data. In the event of a problem, you will want your operations to continue smoothly. Unfortunately, a mediocre backup system won’t suffice – it’s likely to be slow, local, and recovery might take time.
You need a solution that effectively backs up your content on an everyday basis to two machines. If one crashes and burns, the other will still be alive and kicking! This concept is called Business Continuity Planning; the secondary server is for disaster recovery.
9. Should I outsource IT operations?
You make decisions about IT and business decisions, but do you need to manage IT too? Don’t you think a specialist will be better suited for the job?
IT is a specialized field and it makes sense for small businesses to outsource the task to people with the necessary expertise, while you focus on the core of your business. This way both operations will run smoothly and in tandem. Outsourcing helps in cutting costs and maximizing results. For small businesses, retaining an in-house specialist is expensive.
10. Do I have what it takes to surpass customer expectations in a digital world?
Small businesses need to match up to pioneers such as Apple and Amazon. Customers today seek the best. To ensure your business is unique, offer a combination of convenience and service. If you weren’t born digital, meeting the high expectations of clients will be difficult.
Take time, understand what they want, and then do what is needed. Whether its automation, improving sales and services, or offering variety, set the bar high and your customers will be delighted!
More than 400,000 businesses have chosen Instamojo as their payments technology partner. Instamojo helps small businesses go digital in just a few clicks! You can automate your payments, sales reports, and more. Get started in under two minutes!