Starting a business is a juggling act on so many levels. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be capable of wearing a number of different hats and performing a wide variety of tasks. But every minute they spend focusing on one task is time they are not able to spend accomplishing another so their life is a constant balancing act.
Choosing the right tech for your startup is no different. You need to make sure you have all the tech you need while also ensuring you don’t invest precious capital in tech you don’t. Here are 5 tips to choosing just the right tech for your startup.
1. Identify your pain points
Correctly identifying your pain points in business is a tricky process because what’s true of the body is also true in business. A headache can just be a headache, but it can also be a symptom of a deeper issue. If you just keep taking aspirin, you never fix the problem so it just keeps occurring.
Finding the right tech for your business involves correctly identifying the root pain points, not just addressing the symptoms. Addressing symptoms and not issues in your business will have the same outcome; ongoing problems that are never actually solved by new tech.
2. Keep short and long term goals in mind:
Some tech may fix a current issue but it can’t grow and expand as your business does. When you think of replacing tech, you need to not only consider the financial cost of replacing hardware, but also the cost if employees need to learn an entirely new system.
Subscription and cloud services in particular are especially attractive options for startups because they require little investment capital. In fact, many of the leading subscription services for business offer free versions you can start with and move to a paid service as your needs evolve.
3. Don’t ignore security
It is easy for startups to overlook security since they assume they are not a big enough fish for anyone to bother with. In a world where even individuals of modest means need to be concerned about digital security, however, as a business you need to be even more so.
While your business may not collect any personal or financial information from clients or consumers that needs to be protected, at the very least, you still have a great deal of personal employee information that needs to be kept safe.
4. Know when to change tools
Any changes to operations of any kind will inherently slow you down at first until you get up to speed. The question is whether the changes will significantly speed up efficiency and performance in the long run or slow it down permanently.
Not all upgrades are actually useful or beneficial, yet sticking with the status quo because change is hard can also signal the death knell for your business. Changes need to be considered carefully and implemented strategically in order to be successful but they are an inevitable part of building a successful business.
5. Prepare your employees for new tech solutions
One of the key indicators of whether changes will actually be successful or not is how well employees have been prepared for the changes. Here are some of the primary ways you will want to prepare employees for any changes in tech:
Get their approval: Sometimes, changes in one area don’t actually benefit the department or person required to make the changes, but someone or something else down the line does. You can help smooth the process by making sure everyone genuinely understands the benefit and is on board with the proposed changes before making them.
Train one person as the resident expert: Having one person who is thoroughly trained on even the most advanced aspects of software or new tech can be invaluable to helping everyone else get up to speed.
Provide basic training to everyone: You can significantly ease the transition between the old tech and the new by ensuring everyone is confident, competent and up-to-speed before the transition.
Simply keeping up with the latest tech options is hard enough, but getting the right tech for your changing needs can be a monumental challenge. On the other hand, something as simple as a new software program can catapult your business into the stratosphere. While change is always hard, it’s also a necessary constant in business and in life.
About the Author:
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88