3 Tips When Choosing Your Business Tech for the First TimeNov 03, 2021
Technology can be one of the biggest blocks that hold us back when we're first starting our own business.
It's a vital part of running an online business, so why does it often feel so confusing, overwhelming, and seem unnecessarily complicated?
Here just a small number of ways technology helps us to run our businesses more efficiently:
Website - the showroom of our product and services.
Accountancy and invoicing - keeping track of your income and spending (making goal tracking and taxes a lot easier).
Email providers - keeping in touch with our customers.
Booking forms - instant access to availability and easy time management.
Social media - where we build our know, like and trust factor.
Scheduling tools - because who has time to sit on social media all day?
Productivity tools - from note taking to diary organising, to goal setting and business planning, it's important we use our time widely.
The list goes on!
So where do you start? And how do you choose from the hundreds of providers?
When you go searching for advice, the many experts can leave you feeling feeling more confused and more lost than ever with all of the conflicting advice.
Some software is better for blogging, some is better for ecommerce, others seem to be a one-size-fits-all (with a hefty price tag!).
It's hard to know whether you're using your time wisely and investing in the right products for you and your business.
So here are three things to consider when starting your business and deciding which technology you're going to invest in to get the ball rolling.
1. Remember that you can always sign up and change things at a later date.
You don't have to commit long term and the majority of services offer free trials options.
Always start off with the simplest product that they offer. Get used to how the technology feels and then decide whether you want to progress and invest further; otherwise, you may find yourself paying for features that you don't know how to use or may never end up using.
Sometimes the perfectionist in you may dislike that it has another company's branding is on it or you may feel that this is distracting for the customer. The truth is they probably won't even notice as it's often featured at the bottom of the page or in the top corners.
2. Do your research and discover all the different types of technology that's out there and available to you.
This could be from your website set up to your email marketing to your social media scheduling all the way through to productivity and accounting apps. (see the list above)
You should rank these in order of importance and review how often you going to use them and how crucial are they for your business.
This will give you a good starting point to know which ones you should be focusing your energy on first. The which ones are the most important should be the ones you're prioritising.
3. Always look at how easy it is to get support from these different pieces of software and the companies that produce them.
Some services offers offer 24/7 live chat support on their websites, which in my experience is fantastic and you often have your problems resolved within an hour.
Alternatively, some companies may only offer support Monday to Friday in their time zone. It's important to take note of this if you're working with companies that are based on the other side of the world as you may find that there are longer delays in getting feedback and resolutions for any of your problems.
Top tip: do your research!
It's always great to look up the different pieces of technology for the different reviews, especially on YouTube, where you'll be able to find information about how well systems collaborate and integrate with each other.
In the long term, it could also be worth investing in somebody who can support you with any technology if it's something that you struggle with or don't enjoy doing.
I've spent countless late nights and hours pulling my hair out trying to work out why things won't configure or integrate seamlessly together.
Hours of my life had been wasted watching YouTube videos when ultimately I could have outsourced it and the problem would have been solved within an hour. Some lessons are always learnt the hard way.
So to summarise:
1. Remember you can always change your technology providers at a later date.
2. Focus your efforts on what's most important and rank the different pieces of technology based on how important they are to your business.
3. Assess how easy it is to get support for the software.
Technology and software is here to make our lives easier, not more complicated.
If it's something you enjoy, dive headfirst into the exciting world of how many options are available to you. If you're not sure, look for advice and ask others in your industry, what software they have found most helpful in their businesses.
You can find all of these tips and information in my free Facebook support group the 'Love Mondays Club'.
Come and join us today and let's chat about tech!
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