Small Business Technology: 5 Smart Tips on How to Choose The Right Tech Solutions

Modern technology has contributed to the success of most businesses. However, some small business owners still perceive technology as a blanket solution to the challenges they face. The technology comprises a variety of solutions, and you need to find the technology that provides a solution for your unique business needs.

Small Business Technology

Over the last few years, there have been significant technological advancements in artificial intelligence, cloud services, IT services, and data management, among others, that can directly impact your business. However, while some of these modern solutions may seem like a great fit for your business, not all are a good option.

Before you can invest in the right technology like Oracle database compare, you should separate technology that will help grow your business from other solutions that will end up just being another toy in your collection. Ensure that you make a decision that is solely based on your business, and not the technology that will help to operate it.

How to Choose The Right Solution When You Have a Variety of Options

Analyze Your Business Needs

First things first, start by conducting a technology inventory of the existing technology in your business. Is your existing technology serving your business well? Categorize all the solutions in your business into three: good, bad, and needs improvement. This way, you will be able to assess the loopholes in your technological infrastructure. If the technology in your business is outdated, you may find it difficult to continue using it or improving it to make it more efficient.

However, take your time to think about how you can improve it to enhance business operations. Some of the areas where you should improve in technology include:

  • Database management
  • Accounts and finance
  • HR management
  • Order taking
  • Internal and external communication

Invest In A Scalable Solution

As a small business owner, you don’t want to invest in a very expensive solution, which is reserved for the big players. However, before you invest in any solution, scale its usability in the future, and determine whether you will still use it after a few years. For example, currently, you may not need a lot of space on the cloud, but you may, later on, need it as your business grows. Additionally, if you plan to sell your products online, then you will need the best hosting service provider. While you will still need a scalable solution, it’s important that you factor in speed and security.

Purchasing new technology is often very expensive, and you need to carefully consider the available solutions before you purchase. One of the best ways to assess potential solutions for your business is by looking around for other industry-related businesses and inquiring what they are using. Investigate whether they have experienced any difficulties and whether specific software or devices become outdated quickly.

However, keep in mind that there will be some risks involved in any solutions you invest in. For example, the technology you purchase may quickly become outdated. In such a situation, you’ll be left with overly expensive equipment that you’ll have to sell, donate, or recycle. To avoid such risks, you can always choose to lease expensive but essential equipment to stay up-to-date.

Determine The Skills You Have And Which Skills You’ll Need

In your business place, various employees will have different familiarity levels with the solutions you may be considering. Before you purchase a specific technology, it’s essential that you understand the impact it will have on your team. Ensure that you know the skills you already have and the skills that may be required after you implement a certain solution.

While a specific piece of technology may help meet your business needs, it may also require a significant investment in training. Alternatively, you may consider hiring or partnering with people with the required skills to help make the work easier. If you take this option to incorporate a new solution in your business, ensure that you first determine whether it’s cost-effective to hire more employees or to work with a third-party. A good example of a third-party is an internet service provider (ISP) or a managed service provider (MSP) who handles some of the day-to-day IT responsibilities.

Consider Your Financial Model

It’s essential that you consider your underlying financial model when choosing the right solution for your business. How will your business make money? It’s the dream of any business owner to grow and run a successful business. This means finding more customers. However, there is a big difference between businesses that require a big audience for them to become successful and those that work with just a select number of customers.

You should prioritize your underlying financial model when making technology decisions for your business. While some of the solutions you come across maybe scalable, others will require additional resources, which may make them overly expensive for your business. Ideally, you need a solution that is bulletproof and one that fits your budget.

Have A Backup Plan

Technology is not always a hundred percent guaranteed, and sometimes it may fail. Failing to plan for such an eventuality could mean that once you’re faced with such a problem, you may end up shutting your business for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, if your business entirely depends on technology, it’s important that you predict some of the consequences of potential disruption. By doing this, you will be able to gather the necessary information you need to come up with a recovery strategy in case of a technological disaster.  Some of the common recovery plans you should consider include power backup, cloud storage, and hardware. Regardless of the nature of your business, having a backup plan can help save your time and money.

Bottom Line

As a small business owner, you cannot avoid technology as it plays a major role in the success of any business. However, due to the influx of available technological solutions, you need to take your time to consider the available options. Keep in mind that the technology you choose can make the difference between your business success and failure.

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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