Finding the right technology to help business owners run their businesses is crucial. They desire technology that is simple to use and effective so that they can concentrate on what they do best.
This article is for you if you can relate to any of these issues. We’ll discuss some of the most common problems faced when using technology in small businesses and provide tips on dealing with them. We’ll also provide resources to help you manage and avoid technical issues.
Lack of knowledge or expertise
One of the biggest challenges small business owners face regarding technology is a need for more knowledge or expertise. They often need help knowing where to start or what to do when encountering a problem. They may need more time or resources to learn about technology, which is typically the main source of frustration and confusion.
As a small business owner, you know the struggles of trying to keep up with the latest technology. You have less access to capital and less manpower so, it’s easy to prioritize convenience over due – diligence, but adequate research will save time and money in the long run.
Where to start
Before starting your technology search, review business goals and take inventory of the technology stack you’re using. Document what tools you like using, why, and what tools are causing friction. Conducting a needs assessment will align your business needs with your goals. Defining the challenges and the impact on your business will help identify the type of technology is needed and where to focus your search. It will also help in developing a criteria list to quickly narrow your search. The right technology must integrate with your tech stack. Also take note of your work habits. The right tool should reinforce good work habitats and support you and your team in creating new ones.
Researching technology options
Several technology options are available and growing. It can be overwhelming for small business owners to try researching them all. With limited time and resources, the goal is to quickly eliminate options to your top 5-3. You can start with a Google search, but chances are, the results will only lead to more frustration. Below are a few Google alternatives.
- Destination CRM
- Article: 20 Great Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google
- Ask your employees and colleagues
- Work with a trusted technology partner
Demonstrations and free trials
Once you narrow down options to no more than 5 possible solutions, it’s time to schedule a demo. Demonstrations are great opportunities to observe how the technology is used, and get your questions answered. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for a sales rep to win a sale. So be on guard! Avoid being seduced by the bells and whistles being demonstrated. If it sounds too good to be true, ask for a free trial. Take advantage of free trials if it’s an option. I’ve been duped by demonstrations more times than I’ll admit. I want spare you that experience so here are a few questions ask.
- On average, how long does it take to implement?
- How often to do update your products? How often?
- Are there limits to what I can customize?
- Does this integrate with….? Can you show me?
Think long term
Expect the timeline from purchase to launch to take time. No matter how intuitive a tool may be, life happens, it takes time to form a new habit, and there’s always a learning curve. So, schedule time every week to explore your new technology. This time should only be for learning and exploring your new tool. Time needed to customize and actually use the tool be separate. Set a launch date and be flexible if needed.