Does Technology Help or Hurt Your Business?
This may not sound like a serious question to everyone, but I think it is perhaps the most important question or issue facing small businesses today. It is meant to be a roundabout way of asking you is technology working for your business. More importantly are you getting the most of technology in your business?
There are five main considerations that need to be considered when you try and answer this question. First, what type of business are you in? A simple question, but I encourage to think about the answer a bit unless you have done so before. It is the old question you have probably heard, “Am I in the railroad business or the transportation business?”. How you answer can have a big impact on the types of technology you need for your business.
Secondly, what is your business or growth plan. Do you plan to expand your business or are you happy right where you are? When you seek to expand a business then technology is usually a bigger part of your plan. Other plan questions, such as what is your exit plan, need to be considered. Obviously, your exit plan should tie-back to your growth plan so you have an ongoing plan that will eventually lead to or tie into your exit plan.
Thirdly, what are current industry trends as they relate to technology. The fast food industry has introduced in store ordering kiosk as well as on-line ordering with store pickup. These types of changes require a great amount of investment in technology. Industry competition can drive some technology changes as every business competes to stay up and remain competitive. It’s not so much to keep up with the ‘Jones”, but to keep existing customers and the ability to attract new customers.
Fourth and perhaps most important to the business itself is how prepared is your workforce for technology changes? Are they capable of learning new technologies and at what level is their ability? If they are not capable, are you prepared to replace them with a new workforce? Or are you willing to set up the proper training program to get them up to speed? You need to be able to answer these questions before you go out and acquire the latest and greatest technology for your business. Otherwise all your effort and investment will be for naught and may even sink your business.
The fifth and final consideration is capital. Do you have the money on hand or will you need to borrow to finance the purchase, training and maintenance required for the new technology? You or your accountant needs to run the ROI or return on your investment to determine the payback on the new technology. Finally, you need to look at the impact of the technology on the business strategically. The impact on the overall business is the real consideration here and how its impact will affect your business plan as well as your exit plan.
For more information about your IT technologies and how they can be made to work for you call or email Ben at WesTec Services at (713) 682-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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