All companies should invest in technology. But not all tech investments offer the same opportunities for all businesses. Getting the most out of your business software investments requires careful planning and robust research. Don’t just jump on the latest tech trends and assume your business will see the same results as everyone else.
Below, Workast shares key questions to keep in mind as you review potential software solutions as well as some steps you can take to ensure your investment actually pays off.
Make Solution-Driven Software Decisions
If you want to find software that will have a real impact on your business, you must first look at your existing business processes and determine what you struggle with the most. Are you having a hard time managing your customer relationships? Is payment processing too expensive? Are you worried about cybersecurity? Is your existing inventory management system getting out of control?
The right small business tech tools can solve all of these problems. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you manage your business relationships by organizing and storing both leads and existing customers. Project management software can help you keep track of multiple projects and deliverables all in one place. Inventory management software will help you avoid issues with overstocking and understocking inventory to optimize your use of storage space while ensuring you never run out of products that customers want. Look for software designed to offer solutions to your biggest business problems.
Learn from Your Competitors
Another way to choose the right business software is to see what your competitors are using and how it helps them. Slintel.com explains how you can use online tools to find out what tech stacks your competitors are using, from data visualization apps to marketing software. Using this information, you may decide to try some similar software types for your own business. You might even discover new software types that solve business problems you didn’t even know you had!
Get Employee Buy-In
In order to get the most out of your software investments, you actually have to use your new tools to make your business better. Unfortunately, employees can be hesitant to adopt new technology. Be sure to get buy-in from the people who will be using the new software before you invest big money in a new tech solution. Make sure you talk to your employees about their concerns and feedback. Find out what features they wish your current software had and what tools would make their lives easier and their work more efficient. When you introduce new technology, focus on how it benefits your employees rather than your business.
Train Your Employees on Best Practices
Good training is essential for ensuring your team adopts your new software and uses it correctly. Talk to the software company about the training process for employees. Will they send trainers to your office or simply provide a Powerpoint presentation to show your team? Waybook.com explains that every employee has their own learning style and pace, so make sure your training can accommodate these differences. Employees who need hands-on training may feel overlooked by presentations that focus on e-learning or lecture-based seminars.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it can take time for employees to grasp new technology. Don’t expect your team to switch tools overnight. Expect a long learning curve, especially when implementing complex software tools. Remember that you’re trying to get your team to change their habits and workflows. By being understanding and offering ongoing support, your employees will have the time and mental energy needed to optimize their use of your new software.
Investing in technology can take your business to new levels. But only if you choose the right technology and teach your employees how to use it properly. To ensure you see a return on your software investment, choose tools based on your biggest business challenges, learn from your competitors, talk to your employees, and spend plenty of time on training.