Small Business Tech: Assessing Needs
You’ve finally gotten past the point of being paralyzed by all the technology choices out there. This is a huge step. You can now begin to assess the needs of your business to see whether or not technology can provide a solution. If you haven’t read the prior article entitled “Small Business Tech: The Paradox of Choice” take a look at it before continuing. There are two steps to take that are extremely important when looking at new technology for a business.
There are a lot of consultants that can give you a multidimensional matrix to help you decide the best way to solve your business problems. While accurate, this is often expensive and requires getting people together in meetings to hash out all the details. For a mediocre solution you often end up spending a ridiculous amount of time and resources. Given that business is being conducted in a more decentralized and fast paced way, acting decisively and moving quickly is now pivotal for success.
The two steps can be done on paper or off the top of your head but either way a thought experiment is required. You want to determine which 20% of our business activities yield 80% of your businesses results. This will help you hone in on specific business processes that create results, because in the end that’s all we care about. Take out all the fluff and just focus on what gets results.
Next, ask whether there is a way to better this process through technology. Ask yourself “Can I save money or time or both?” This is where it becomes important to distinguish between a nice to have and a need to have. Far too many small business owners spend money on items that aren’t necessary for the integral parts of their company. Your employees do not need an Espresso machine in the office lounge. You don’t need a brand new computer every year or a Google Nest climate control system for your building. This is all extra.
Find what business activities give you 80% of your results and then fill the needs of those activities. This lets you feed your results directly and create an efficient, profit centered business. Technology is useless if chosen for the wrong reasons, so make sure it is working for you and pushing your business to the next level.
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