There is an overwhelming number of apps, adverts and products that claim to help your business from a technological standpoint, and this can be daunting for many that are unsure where to start to help bring their business up to speed.
Many business owners fall for the trap that technology solutions will be too expensive to buy, train staff with and scale up with the company. Whilst there is a case for this for certain businesses, for the most part, technology will help your business scale up cost effectively.
The Cost Of Technology
Small businesses biggest concern when adopting technology is the bottom line. The benefit for small businesses now however is that, whilst some technologies were previously expensive, most are now far more affordable.
Take for instance video conferencing. As will have been evident during the coronavirus lockdown, video conferencing, something that once costed companies a lot now has the option to be free. For larger businesses with more users and longer meetings required, there are many platforms out there that are still very affordable.
With most people having access to a high-powered laptop or smartphone, the accessibility of most technologies does not have the teething issues they once would have. Business owners need to investigate the technologies available to them on a budget.
Further examples such as Evernote, Google Docs and Webexpenses provide efficient online resources to track anything from meetings to accounting at a very small cost. Many even offer free trials or limited functionality that may be enough for your current needs.
Training Of Staff
Something that in the past has been known to take extended periods of time and subsequently lost money, training now takes less time for the most part.
Most employees will have a greater understanding of technology now than they did 10 years ago, with 86 percent of small businesses overcoming technological hurdles to continue business as usual.
Combine this with software becoming more user friendly, the time it will take to learn software is greatly reduced. The benefits of adopting company-wide software is more relevant now than it has ever been.
Making relationships with clients and competition is an essential part of scaling a business. Now more than ever, the traditional way of networking at convention centres are seeing less footfall, with the current lockdown measures making meetings of this kind out of the question for the foreseeable future.
The money companies can save by utilising technology for client outreach is massive. Running online webinars and inviting users to virtually interact with the company is incredibly cost effective and is very likely to reach a larger audience. Companies can pivot here and run educational webinars that can attract hundreds of participants through ease of attending.
Some Key Advice
Many business owners are aware of the benefits of technology but are unsure of where to start. Of course, it is hard to recommend a single piece of software to ‘blanket’ over the current issues, but there are some areas to focus on.
Before looking into any technology, identify where your current shortcomings are as a business and utilise non-technological solutions where possible. Once this is done, you can streamline your process.
As a company, investigate automation technology and cloud computing, two areas that are seeing the greatest adoption now. Software such as Mailchimp and Canva can also help with your marketing efforts.
Encourage employees to use devices that they are comfortable with. Having to learn windows when they are used to mac is an unnecessary learning phase when for the most part work can be done on either device. Bringing their own device also saves the company money in purchasing a new device outright.
In short, use common sense and identify areas technology can help your business. The cost does not have to be high if this is done efficiently, just be sure that when introducing technology, it is necessary and take advantage of free trials or ‘basic’ plans to support your business.
Jamie Johnson is the CEO of FJP Investment, an introducer of UK and overseas property-based investments to a global audience of high net-worth and sophisticated investors. Founded in 2013, the business also partners with developers in order to provide them with a readily accessible source of funding for their development projects.