Are you looking at your business’s new technology and wondering why you’re not getting enough bang for your buck? Well, the problem might not be the technology. Many business leaders want fancy apps to impress clients, increase efficiencies, lower COGS, and improve profits. This strategy makes sense and sounds easy. But human nature makes it harder to do. If it were that simple, there would be many more successful small businesses and self-made millionaires. So, what’s keeping us all from achieving success?
The use of emerging technology is nothing new. Technological revolutions have spurred new businesses—and improved the way we live—for millennia. These days, the convenience of mobile phones, apps, and the Internet helps conquer one of small business’s biggest hurdles: sales. These technologies have become the primary way to communicate, putting products and services in the hands of customers. But technology alone does not fix or improve your business. Instead, it’s the people and the processes you employ. Use technology to enhance your business, but don’t assume software installation is all you need. Without the proper controls and touch points built in, the software will do its job, but probably not exactly how you expect it to.
Software integrations have many components because every business is different and most “shrink wrap” software is designed towards the middle of your market. You may need to test the software to make sure it can handle what you need it to do. If it can’t, you can invest in customization. To make the transition to automation easier and seamless, it makes sense to test the software under the typical conditions for which you need it.
Analyze your processes and procedures in which you’ll use the software. Most likely, you’ll have to change your processes to include the functionality of the software. For instance, a process that’s mostly paper-based must change a great deal once automation is introduced. To a small business automation can be transformative, but such automation should be planned and accompanied by a change in process, rigorous testing, and proper training so that your staff can work in harmony with their technology. If you don’t do the analysis, you risk buying software and paying license fees for technology that doesn’t decrease your work, but increases it.
Basically, there are only two reasons to pay for software. One is to cut your expenses. The other is to increase profits. If you find yourself developing “workarounds” to accommodate your software, it will become problematic. If you have doubts, hire a professional.