In the past few years, the world has seen huge technological innovations including AI, automation and cloud computing. The concern lies in acquiring the right knowledge and inculcating those tech boons into the work model.
Whether you have a small business or you own the business game, the answer to all the concerns that your business may face is technology. The role of technology in business has benefited them to the core and it will add more good points to the functioning of the SMBs.
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According to studies, 90 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses rely on digital tools for communication. 40 per cent use tech tools for sales management and around 80 per cent SMBs use technology-based services for internal management and other logistic activities.
Most of the organisations believe the involvement of tech into their workspace to be the all-time solution. However, most of them fail to identify the right technology as per their business requirement.
For example- If you opt for software that suits your business needs for now but is not scalable, there are chances of you spending more time and money later. In another case, you may have tech-based software that has zillion options.
But they are of no use and don’t suit your business requirements. In this case, it is best to identify your business requirements and then select one keeping your present and future needs in mind.
But how will you know what your small business needs? Aside from that, how to use the right technology in your business? Read till the end to know the answer.
Six ways to know your business needs
- Evaluate your needs
The first approach to finding the precise small business technology solutions is to evaluate your needs. The basic thing to keep in mind is to calculate what your business does well and what you lack.
You can start from the very point of seeing the work your people are doing daily.
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- Do they invest a lot of time struggling for the internet connection?
- Are your employees spending hours on manual email creation?
- Is the team taking more time on things that could be digitally completed in seconds?
These are little things that hinder the workflow of your business and you don’t even know about them. It is better to acquire a digital tool that can automatically send and receive those emails. You can also provide improved internet facilities to them.
Another important factor to consider is how your employees are managing their time and if they are getting proper workspace. You must focus on these needs and work accordingly. When you know your preferences/issues, it is easy to find solutions.
- Plan the budget and look at your financial model
The right technology in business is calculated once you know what your overall budget is and what all your financial model includes. Every business can’t be IMB, Tata or Microsoft. The major difference is that they know all about their financial model. Get to know exactly how much you intend to spend on your projects.
There are various tech options including:
- One that is scalable
- One that is pricey/ expensive yet efficient
- One that is cheap but will not meet your business needs after a certain time
But you need to choose the right technology that will fit under your budget, is scalable and you don’t have to pay any additional amount once you finally choose one.
- Know what skills you need
Knowing your skills and proper implementation is an essential part of the business. You might find the technology that is appropriate for your business but may require certain training for its implementation. So, it is your responsibility to keep your employees up to date with the required tech knowledge.
It is also important to hire employees who are well-versed with the updated tech innovations and most of the organisations follow this. Tech skills matter and the advantages are indeed huge, including the rate of salary boosts.
A certificate in Amazon’s AWS cloud technology boosts the employee’s salary by 26 per cent. Having the knowledge of AI can prove to give a hike of 60-80 per cent. The same goes if you have other tech skills like digital marketing.
So, make sure that your team has all the skills needed to make that technology work for your business and also know what skills they lack. You can look at your budget and hire more employees with such tech developed skills.
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- Have excellent tech support
90 per cent of the US organisations consider tech support to be an eminent factor to decide their business involvement with other companies. The same report also generated the fact that a total of 49 per cent firms switched working with companies due to poor tech support.
According to Hubspot, customers want to spend around 17 per cent more on companies that have outstanding customer support.
Having technical support solutions should be the major consideration when you find the right technology for your business. To make sure that there is the right implementation, and effective functioning of the tech advancements, you need to have a tech support team having a clear concept of their business domain. The tech support should ensure excellent security, upgrades and troubleshooting ideas in case of any emergency or fire.
- Always have a plan-B
Another option is to have backup plans like hardware and software backup, power supplies and cloud storage backup. No matter how huge your business is, it may fail and even if you have a small business keeping backups always helps.
Technology, at times, can lead you to the path of complete failure. If you look forward to new heights, you need to be prepared for downfalls. The only thing to prevent downfalls is to have a plan-B.
If you completely rely on technology for your business, you need to have Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to foresee the consequences of disruption of any business operation. Having BIA by your side, you can gather all the essential information to build a recovery strategy in case of mishappenings or backfire.
- Talk to an expert
If you are going to make important decisions about the working of your business and selection of the finest technology, you surely need a second opinion. You might be a tech expert yourself but you can be wrong at times.
If you are moving to IT strategies, you might take some help from an IT expert who has an expanded and clearer knowledge base than you on the subject. This way you would be able to make more informed decisions knowing all nooks and corners of your business. It is no harm asking for help. It only assures more productivity.
Long term benefits of technology
The use of technology in business not only secures the present state but it also has long term benefits.
Efficiency and Productivity
These are the two terms that every business focuses on- efficiency and productivity. And a new technology provides both while saving time and effort. The tech solutions bring automation and also creates simple processes for handling complex projects and bring the best results.
The more you know your business, the more fruitful it will be. By involving new business technology solutions, you get to know every aspect of your business. The new technologies provide better business insights and comprehensive data for your business needs.
One of the major technical advantages is growing business scalability. The tech is helping small businesses move ahead with time and solutions that will also benefit in the future.
All the new technologies are here to help you perform your job efficiently. Don’t forget you have to hone your minor skills and develop your needs to ensure the proper functioning of your business.
With businesses shifting to the tech edge, the greed to attain heights is uncontrollable. But you need to understand that if you want to win the race, you have to stop being trapped into wrong choices. Choose the right tech to regain more space for your small business.
Rupinder Kuar, SEO Analyst, Sagenext (opens in new tab)