Despite being small in budget and operations, small businesses must be matching the bigger players in the attitude of using technology for business. It does not require spending noticeably big to adapt to technology, which varies according to the needs of business and the scale of operations. However, one thing is clear that to survive in an intensely competitive market; small businesses must spend on technology because it is now a key ingredient that can bring success. It is easy to say that small businesses must use technology to create disruptive market propositions. But on the ground, the task can be quite challenging, given the low budget of entrepreneurs limits the options of business development.
Studies show that 95% of small business organizations struggle with the technology they have chosen to bolster their business and drive it in the path of growth. Eric J Dalius, a noted marketing professional with years of experience, notes that most often, companies face enormous difficulties in adapting the changes brought about by the technological interventions in the business processes across the organization. Every technology brings along with it some challenges which small business owners must stay prepared to cope with so that the business gains from it. Whether it is a simple tool that aids tracking employee attendance or some marketing automation tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for generating qualified leads and sales, the opportunities are as many as the challenges.
When making investments for new technology, small business owners must be ready to overcome the obstacles, some of which considered to be the key challenges and in this article.
Technology adaption– EJ Dalius shares his experience
There are numerous technological solutions available which all have the power to streamline operations,but the choice should revolve around its user-friendliness. Even the best technological solution might prove ineffective if users find it challenging to implement it. Usually, the process of technology selection by small businesses has a common flaw in that the focus is always on customers, but rarely does it consider the aspect of ease of use of the technology by employees. This proves detrimental because small businesses do not have the luxury of training employees like bigger organizations. The employees of small businesses must depend on self-learning to hone their skills in using the new technology with some help from the vendor who might support with videos and tutorials. For the smooth implementation of the latest technology, you must consider its user-friendly aspect during selection with as much importance as customer benefit.
Choosing the right platforms
The challenge of selecting the right technology is a big issue for small business owners because almost a third of them do not know which technology would be suitable for their business. From hardware and software to cloud and security procedures, all have a remarkably high impact on business, and there is the concern for cost too, as most small businesses have exceptionally low budgets, whereas technology can be pricey. Business owners receivenumerous technological offers, with each claiming superiority over others, and it is almost impossible for them to compare the features and functions and arrive at a decision. Since most of them do not have the knowledge and understanding of technology, it is tough for them to make the right choice. Moreover, finding a trusted advisor can be as daunting as finding tech-savvy employees. Also, many businesses are not prepared to use technology.
Focus on customer experience
Customer is the king for any business, and any investment in technology has the underlying objective of bettering the customer experience. This is true even if the technology is meant for improving operational efficiency because it will result in better response from employees when interacting with customers that ultimately translates into a better user experience. While this aspect is much visible in larger organizations, it is not so much evident in small businesses that often lack the vision of achieving customer satisfaction by using technology.
However, knowing the impact of technology on customer experience is a critical factor during its selection, and ignoring it can lead to a wrong selection that does not provide the right returns for the business. Technology may disrupt the customer experience and does more harm than good. Small business owners must never lose focus of customers even when choosing the technology and should evaluate how it benefits customer service that leads to improved customer experience.
Compatibility with partners and vendors
Small businesses collaborate with partners and vendors to create a business ecosystem that helps them serve customer demands on time. The partners and vendors belong to multiple verticals and streams like operational assistance, logistics, resource supply or raw material, security, warehousing, and much more. When implementing any new technology, you must ensure that it is operable with its technological platforms.
Keep in mind the aspect of system integration when deploying new technology and during its implementation. Ignoring it can create complications in using the technology, which might entail some extra effort and steps to make it compatible with the technological interface of the partners and vendors. This could complicate matters and defeat the purpose of using technology. To ensure compatibility with partner technology, it might entail building custom modules for automating the entire value chain. It can escalate costs, which will burden small businesses.
Choose a technical consultant
According to Eric Dalius, having a technological consultant on your side can help choose the right platform which fits your budget. Most small business owners do not consider it because of cost constraints. However, the investment is very much worth considering the benefits that it can provide by making the right choices that bolster the business.
The cost of choosing the wrong technology can weigh down on business due to its negative impact, which can even threaten existence. Having the right advisory from the consultant goes a long way in business betterment as every technology becomes a valuable addition that boosts profit and growth.
Small business owners must have the right mindset to embrace technology because it is the only way that they can become big someday.