With so many technology solutions for Calgary businesses, it can be overwhelming to know which IT solutions will work for you. Let’s face it, there is a lot on the line. No small business can afford to make a mistake in choosing the wrong solution. Time, money and resources are at a premium and can’t be wasted.
So, what is to be done? There are several ways that technology is helping small businesses succeed and finding the right solution can make a world of difference to a business looking for growth, improved efficiencies and ways to remain competitive. We believe that although technology is complex, finding the right IT solution for your business doesn’t have to be and here’s how.
Know your business
When we ask clients about their business goals and objectives over the next several years, they are often surprised that we care. We believe it is important to know where you are going as a business when choosing a new line of business application, or deciding on a cloud service provider. Understanding the needs of the business is important when selecting a technology solution that will impact your business throughout every facet.
Every small business is made up of departments, no matter how large or small the organization may be. When introducing new technology to your business, understanding the impact it will have on each area of your business means you have to understand how each department operates. Knowing key business processes and policies are critical to isolating strengths and weaknesses to help identify where an improvement in technology might help. Depending on your needs and goals, understanding the business will make sure you don’t implement the wrong solution. For example, a new document management system and a project management system appear very similar but they play very distinct roles within a business. A mistake of this magnitude can cause real headaches.
Ask the right questions
The problem with finding the right IT solutions is hindered not just because there are so many options, but because businesses fail to ask the right questions. We get too emotional when making decisions and our eyes gravitate to the features and benefits, the “bells and whistles” as we like to call them. Salespeople are so great at turning your focus to all that the technology can do that they miss whether or not it is needed. Too much emphasis is placed on feature and not enough on function.
Therefore, knowing your business plays an important role in asking the right questions. If you are not sure of where processes break down, where there is lost time or money, or why there is a constant mix-up in communication, you will never be able to ask the right questions. You may be left scratching your head and trying to figure out if you need the “fully automated” module, or whatever the salesperson is selling.
Simon Sinek said it best, that to narrow your focus and find the right path or direction you are seeking, you need to start with why? Knowing why you’re pursuing a new technology solution will help determine your purpose and lead to other questions like, how will the technology solution fulfill your purpose, and what needs to be done. Without a clear why, and an understanding of your business, asking the right questions will be a challenge.
Have a trusted partner
It seems obvious that before you go into heart surgery, you would speak to a doctor and leading experts to find out all the information you can before the big day. This is logical, yet many small businesses will go out on their own, making big decisions without turning to others and getting advice in the process. Here is where having a trusted advisor can save you a headache that so many others have experienced because they thought they knew what they were doing.
Whenever you are implementing a new solution, especially one that will affect the entire business, seek out advice. Look to your immediate trusted network and ask around to find those who have gone through a similar change. Seek advice from peer groups or industry leaders in your field of work as many will either have the exact solution that you are looking for, or know some great questions to ask, or even things to avoid in the process.
Trusting others for their input doesn’t mean you have to do what they say, it does, however, prepare you to consider all the options. It will help you to determine the next best action, who you might want to include in the decision-making process and may even save you money. No matter the situation, not asking is never the right choice.
If you want help to know the next step your business should make contact the experts at YellowWood IT. A small business depends on the right technology, at the right time, in the right place, and at YellowWood IT, we have the requisite knowledge and purpose to help you and your small business with your technology. Partner with us in confidence, www.yellowwoodit.ca | (844) 387 – 0607