The world of business technology can be a noisy space, with bright, shiny new products consistently hitting the market.
From Customer Relationship Management software to workflow apps, and social media automation tools, some of these products can make a real difference to how your business operates, allowing you to streamline tasks and offer better service.
But choosing the right technology or gauging whether the latest product is right for you can also be overwhelming.
So regardless of what the latest offering is, here are some tips on analysing tech for your business.
Tech in the context of business
Often when clients and I are discussing future plans and growth for their business, we consider the role technology could play in streamlining their existing operation.
After all, the right technology has the ability to free a business operator of repetitive administration tasks so they can direct their energy at expansion or the big business picture.
It can also assist with the systems and procedures that drive the inner workings of a business, ensuring service is consistent, standards are met and staff know exactly what they should be doing.
But drawing on technology isn’t about deploying tech tools for the sake of it or because a new buzzword is making the rounds in your industry.
Instead it should be considered within the context of your specific business, and measured against the following questions…
Does it solve a problem?
Any bright shiny new tech tool you embrace for your business should solve a very specific problem that you have identified.
That problem can be business-related or customer-related, but knowing the problem you need to address allows you to identify the tech features that you need.
Ultimately, the tool will then allow you to improve areas like customer service, or productivity and business efficiency.
Will it allow me to better focus on more important areas?
Technology might allow you to automate and streamline, but in the process it should also allow you to focus on more important areas, such as human connections and customer interaction.
Occasionally there’s a danger of businesses deploying so much technology and using it so frequently that the human connection and personalisation is lost.
So, ensure your use of tech isn’t just about removing tasks, but also then enables you to replace those mundane repetitive jobs with high-value touchpoints that better service your customer.
Is it user friendly?
The technology you do embrace should be user friendly for you as the business leader and your team. That means considering how easy it is to adopt, how much maintenance it will require and whether it’s scalable, should your business grow.
Is it cost effective?
Any tech tool should be considered within your business plan and budget. It’s all very well to want the latest software and technology, but be mindful the aim of any technology salesperson is to attempt to justify the cost involved.
You need to weigh this cost carefully against projected benefits to your specific business in terms of productivity savings and efficiency or the value it offers to the customer experience.
The final word
Technology has a real and valuable place in most businesses, including sole contractor operations. But like any business decision, selecting the technology you use should be weighed carefully against your business plan, your projected growth, your bottom line and the problem it’s looking to solve.
Planning for growth?
If you’re looking to hone your business plan and grow your operation, I’m available to assist. You can book a discovery call directly with me here.