By: Emma Miller
In today’s era of hyperconnectivity, technology is the backbone of every successful business, irrespective of its size. For your startup, the choice of right hardware and software pieces means not only managing your team properly, but also boosting their productivity, getting the most of every project, and saving a lot of time and money.
Unfortunately, choosing the right set of tools may be a daunting task. Over the past few years, there has been a rapid advance in cloud connectivity, business intelligence, IT services, and various exciting apps and tools, making it even more difficult for startups to choose what options are worth investing in. Studies show that 63% if small businesses feel intimidated by the number of tech options that have been rising at an astonishing pace. Not to mention that choosing the wrong stack may cost you an arm and a leg and jeopardize your entire company’s success.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself: “How am I supposed to know what technology meets my business needs?”
Well, for starters, you need to make a distinction between the IT solutions that can really help you grow your business and those that would be just another toy in your business’ toolbox.
Here is how to do so.
Focus on your Business’ Pain Points
The main purpose of technology is to help you do what you do quicker and more efficiently. So, to choose the right technology, you first need to know which tasks are performed successfully and which ones need to be improved. And, the best way to do so is to talk to your employees.
Take a closer look at how they spend their working time. Ask them how much time they devote to specific tasks each week. What are the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks of their everyday job? Of course, you should make it clear that you’re assessing the technology they’ve been using and not their time management skills. It’s important for them to be as honest as possible.
Once you have your data, you need to analyze it carefully. Are your employees spending a lot of time catching up on emails? Then, you should invest in a collaboration tool, such as Basecamp or Slack, which will allow them to communicate more effectively and share and download multimedia content in real time. What about poor internet connection that slows down their day-to-day activities? In this case, a faster internet solution is probably an answer.
Mind the Security
When launching a startup, we can perform the majority of our tasks online, from a company registration and managing finances to hiring remote workers and storing massive data instantly. Of course, to do any of this, we need to leave a plethora of personally identifiable information online and this is exactly why security should be your top priority.
For example, when choosing the right company software, you will need to choose between SaaS and some traditional software solutions. What you will need to know is that the first option usually offers you a greater security as opposed to the latter one. Not to mention that it is more flexible and that it saves you both time and money.
Pay Attention to your Financial Model
Before you choose a certain piece of hardware or software, you need to take your financial model into consideration. First, ask yourself whether you’re able to afford it without compromising your budget. Second, you need to see whether it can help you generate better ROI.
Namely, no matter how popular it is, not every tool will help your business in the same way. While some of them work better for smaller businesses that are precisely targeting their customer base precisely, some are developed for larger companies aiming to win over a wider audience. You need to go with those options that fit your resources and don’t boost one field of your business while disrupting another one.
Ask for Outside Help
Always keep in mind that your employees’ levels of familiarity with some of the tech solutions you choose will vary. So, when going with tech for your startup, it’s important to have a good understanding of how it will influence your team. Most importantly, you need to provide them with an adequate training and support.
This is exactly when you should consider hiring a professional and this depends on your company’s size and goals. For example, if you own a 10-person startup, you will need just a few tune-ups and seminars. On the other hand, if you’re planning to manage more than 50 employees, you should probably hire a full-time technician or look for a reliable third-party solution. Regardless of the type and scale of assistance your new business requires, you should think of it as a way of improving your business rather than wasting your money.
Back to You
Choosing the right technology for your startup means having a clear understanding of your budget, weaknesses, and short- and long-term objectives. So, ask your employees for opinions, consult an IT specialist, test various tech solutions and go with ones that can support your startup’s growth. Most importantly, you should constantly keep track of the tech trends that may work for your business and implement them as soon as possible.
By Emma Miller
About the author
Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focuses are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.