Now. Now is when your business needs to look at your technology services. It’s 2018, which means every company out there uses or can benefit from newer technologies that didn’t even exist a few years ago. You can be a specialty grilled cheese food truck and still benefit from a strong, yet simple tech infrastructure that automates menial tasks or at the very least, have someone know how to leverage digital content to bring customers to your business.
Maybe you already know this, but not everyone is willing to admit it (or pay for it).
According to Salesforce’s 2016 Connected Small Businesses Report, small businesses invest only about 15% of annual budgets on technology. As the years (or even months) go by, businesses will have to adapt with society leaning heavier on tech and if you’re not already in this race, you could find yourself and your company too far behind to catch up.
And if you do have technology set up, when was the last time a tech expert made sure it was updated and that everything was running efficiently? The same study from Salesforce noted that “most business owners still track their customer information via outdated tools and processes, such as email (44%) and spreadsheets (41%)”. There’s so much more you can do with cloud services, CRM, artificial intelligence or analytics – you’re pretty much leaving money (that you saved by not investing in technology services) on the table, and then some.
It’s a double-edged sword, really. The costs could be frightening, especially if you or whomever you’ve given this daunting task to may not know what is needed for their business. But also realize that now is the time when new technology is the main driver of competitive business ideas. Let’s confront the biggest issue: cost effectiveness.
Since IT envelopes such a large scope of stuff to consider (hardware, network management, data processing software, security, etc.), you should treat it as you would any sector of your business. In general, that would mean you have a professional who you trust managing or even making decisions on behalf of the owner. A professional IT specialist – in-house or contracted – can direct you to the products, services and protection you need while making sure your budget is considered.
One of the biggest reasons small business owners lay awake at night is because there just isn’t enough time to cover back/front office duties, sales, production, IT, HR, and any other acronyms they’ve heard. Our insanely fast-paced lives (seemingly continuing to get faster) require us to be calculated with our time.
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