When many businesses first start out the technology that is put in place can often be minimal.
Because the demands on new business operators are typically all-encompassing – such as arranging finance, fitting out premises, hiring and training staff, establishing policies and procedures, securing sufficient stock, launching marketing campaigns, etc. – there is little time and attention left to devote to technology considerations that extend beyond simply enabling the business to begin.
And while a minimalist technology environment is forgivable for the infant business, any business that wishes to be seen as a professional, growth-oriented business committed to sticking around for the long run must move swiftly to implement certain essential technologies that demonstrate the business, well, means business.
Minimalist technology usually means that email accounts are thrown together using gmail, bigpond or other generic domains, staff calendars and tasks reside on different devices, the company website resembles an online business card, company documents are emailed around and modified by different staff members and the business lacks a central, up-to-date view of how it’s tracking against key measures, relying instead on old-fashioned reports which are obsolete the moment they are printed.
If your business has progressed beyond the kitchen-table start-up phase, have a think about whether the technology you have in place reflects the proper status of your business or undermines it. Does your technology platform enable and promote the growth of your business or does it hinder progressive growth?
If your business could use a technology boost there is good news. Due to the ubiquitousness of cost-effective, cloud-based technologies, small and medium businesses can access leading technology solutions that can deliver an immediate improvement in productivity, efficiency and security.
Has your business capitalised on the following best-practice technology trends?
- Professional business email, synchronised across all devices
- Centrally located, synchronised staff calendars and task lists
- Outsourced website development and hosting
- Coordinated document management across multiple devices and individuals
- Real-time business metric dashboards accessible from any location and device
Implementing technologies such as these can often be done more quickly than you think and for less cost than you might imagine.
And if the end result is boosting your business to be a serious player in your industry, the return on your investment will be undisputable.