5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs to Embrace Technology
There’s just no getting around the fact that utilizing new technologies can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Not only do you have to find the right equipment and software to suit the needs of your business, but by the time you’ve trained employees to use it accordingly, it’s practically out-of-date. And while you probably can’t compete with mega-corporations that have the budget to update annually, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw in the towel on the technology front. As a small business owner, it’s important to realize the role that technology can play in making your professional undertaking a success. You might not be able to compete with larger companies, but you certainly have to try to keep up with your small business competitors, and surpass them if possible. It’s not going to be easy and it certainly won’t be cheap, but there are several reasons why embracing technology is imperative for small businesses. Here are a few to consider.
- Efficiency. In business, time is money. Every minute an employee wastes on a task that could have been more quickly and easily accomplished with the right technology is a minute you’re paying for, not only in labor, but in sales that could have been made. Businesses are made up of many moving parts, but you can’t argue with solid numbers like income and expenses. When you refuse to embrace technology you’re missing out on the many business solutions that allow your employees to get more accomplished in less time.
- Connectivity. One of the major components of technological advances over the last couple of decades has been the ability to connect with people around the world. Whereas small businesses were once limited to outreach within a local community, you now have the opportunity to connect with business partners and prospective customers on a global scale, increasing your opportunities for growth and success exponentially. Failing to take advantage of the resources available to you, especially when many are so affordable, is tantamount to signing your death warrant in the business world.
- Compatibility. It’s not enough to buy a computer, install some software, and call it a day. You need to prepare for updates, upgrades, and outright replacement at some point as technology advances beyond the point where your products are relevant. The reason is that eventually your hardware and software is going to reach a sort of event horizon from which it will no longer be able to function relative to other technology. For example, installing new software on old equipment could lead to a system failure, or you simply might not be able to open files sent to you by clients or vendors because your software is so outdated. At the very least you need to maintain a level of technology that allows you to carry out your business operations.
- Tools. These days, many¬†startups consider internet fax over traditional fax machines, email over post, and texting over calling. But there are so many tools available to modern businesses that you really need to take the time to explore your options when it comes to communications, data storage, and the ability to market your business in the online and mobile arenas. There’s more to technology than digital accounting and email. You need to consider the many ways in which technology can help your business in order to ensure that your needs are met.
- Appearances. In addition to all of the concrete benefits to be gained from utilizing modern technology, you shouldn’t forget about the importance of appearances. If clients, investors, or potential business partners walk into your office and see outdated technology and disgruntled employees trying to use it, they may lose confidence in your ability as a business owner. So while you don’t necessarily need to drop money you don’t have on updating your computer and other equipment annually, you at least need to consider the impression your technology is having on outsiders (not to mention your staff) and if it might be time for an upgrade.