Day-to-day obligations are pressing when managing a small business, so it can be easy to overlook what’s going on in the world of technology. However, embracing change and adopting some of the latest tech advances could have lasting benefits for your business. Technology can help you streamline your operations and improve efficiency.
The trick is to sift through what’s available and identify the types of upgrades that could have the biggest impact on your business. You also need to work them into your budget. You might consider an e-commerce platform for your website to help increase sales and manage inventory. Or perhaps you want to prioritize a new POS system for better efficiency and more accurate recording of transactions. Maybe your top priority is implementing software updates to help mitigate security threats. With so many technological advances constantly coming down the pipeline, it can be difficult to identify which innovations to focus on.
Here are some tips to help you evaluate your existing technology and identify the improvements that could help your bottom line:
1. Make Tech Learning a Daily Priority. Set aside 15 minutes each day to learn about what technologies are available for businesses in your field. Find a few relevant website resources and visit them regularly or sign up for any newsletters that are offered. Podcasts and social media can help keep you aware of what’s available in your industry.
2. Join a Professional Association. Professional associations often send out magazines or newsletters reporting on the latest relevant technologies. These organizations might also offer webinars or classes on new technological opportunities. Networking with other members of the association can be a great way to get feedback on specific systems or platforms, or learn what improvements have worked well for them.
3. Attend Industry Conferences. Conferences are another great way to learn about technological developments in your industry. Oftentimes, industry conferences include vendor fairs, which can provide you with an excellent opportunity to talk with technology providers about their products and demo some of their solutions. Getting a hands-on experience with various tech products can help you narrow down what might be best for your business.
4. Determine Your Immediate Needs. Consider what is most relevant to your business. For example, do you have remote employees who spend most of their time out of the office? If so, then connectivity tools are likely a high priority. Or are you trying to expand your business into the online world? If so, you should focus on e-commerce tools. Remember that every new “latest and greatest” solution won’t be the right fit your business. You need to evaluate which options are best aligned with your unique business goals.
5. Assess Your Resources. Once you've determined your technology needs, look to see what resources you already have that you can build upon. Research options that will enhance your existing capabilities. Can you upgrade existing systems rather than add a new one? You should also evaluate your financial resources. How much will your technology improvements cost, and how will you pay for them? A business credit card, loan, or line of credit might be necessary if your cash flow won’t cover your technology needs.
6. Be Systematic. Upgrading technology is not something that can be done without some sort of strategy. Having a clear plan and an outlined process will help to ensure your updates are rolled out smoothly. Consider how you will vet potential new vendors and how you will test new technologies before they are rolled out. You should also establish a clear process for training your staff on new systems or processes.
Implementing the right technology for your business can be a true game changer, saving you time, effort and money. But with so many technical innovations available, choosing which ones to invest in requires research and thoughtful consideration. If you are a business owner in MA or RI who is looking to streamline your cash management processes, payroll, or payment systems, contact our Business Banking Team today to see how BankFive can help: https://www.bankfive.com/business/meet-us/contact-form.