Small businesses are a significant contributor to the American economy. According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, this sector employs about 85 million Americans and accounts for around $6 trillion in economic output.
However, many small businesses struggle to gain the growth they seek and turn to technology for help. From internet-enabled devices to cloud storage applications, such technological advances have distinct effects on the business landscape.
In other words, technology can be an excellent resource for business growth, but it can also be what’s holding you back if you are not using it correctly. As much as tech is a critical lifeline for most small businesses, it’s a healthy business practice first to assess its actual impacts on your business.
A typical starting point is looking at the different ways technology might block growth in your small business. Here are five common mistakes small businesses make with technology and their solutions.
1. You Don’t Understand It
Technology can be complicated with many complex and ever-changing tools. So, be sure you understand the full features and capabilities of the tech you use to ensure you are reaping all the benefits.
Technology widely fosters innovation, which in turn makes business operations more efficient. It is essential for running regular business processes and can also help small businesses scale up faster and achieve success when used effectively.
Even if you are not a total expert, someone in your company should have the basic knowledge and know who to contact for more in-depth knowledge. Taking time to learn about your technology will help you make strides in its utilization and grow as a business.
Failure to understand it often impedes overall business performance and growth, as it automatically limits your perspective when implementing and applying the tech.
2. It Doesn’t Fit Your Needs
Technology should be customizable to fit the specific needs of your business. If it does not fulfill all your needs for a particular business area, you should find another solution.
There are plenty of tech solutions available to fit your specific needs, like hiring a freelancer to build certain software or finding a tech tool with customization services.
For instance, you can hire Angular developers to help you design, develop, and implement visually aesthetic web applications that meet both your business goals and specific end-user needs.
To ensure technology does fit your needs, you also need to know exactly what your needs are. So, be sure to identify your most immediate business needs first. Be sure to include all departments in the decisions so that no one feels left out.
3. It’s Too Expensive
Many companies mistakenly ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and think they need whatever technology is hot in their industry. However, sometimes less is more, and implementing unnecessary technology results in more harm than help. If technology is a financial strain for you and you don’t see an adequate ROI, you should drop it.
Be sure to add a technology budget in the future. Designate a certain amount of profit for technology expansion so that you don’t run into monetary constraints in the future. You can also look at what aspects of your business are outdated and replace those with technology. This could actually save you money in the long run.
4. You’re Too Dependent
What if a particular technology were to disappear? Would you still be able to function? Would you be able to hold out until another solution came along? This is a dramatic example, but it is something to think about.
If you rely too heavily on technology, that means your team’s skills are probably lacking. Put more emphasis on your team and their skills than the technology features.
The primary purpose of technology is to help augment human interactions. So, be careful not to use it in a way that could worsen humanity.
5. You’re Not Adapting
Technology is constantly changing and upgrading. You must too. If you invest in technology and have a lot riding on it, it can be challenging to upgrade or change when a better solution comes along.
However, growth comes with growing pains, and it is likely a necessary step. Don’t shy away from new challenges, but instead plan to embrace and adapt as they unfold.
Use Technology to Benefit Business
From customer-facing applications to back-office accounting systems, technology mainly helps to make business operations convenient and more efficient. It is increasingly becoming a basic necessity as the business world continues to lean more and more towards it. In a world where technology fosters innovation, technological advances breed more business opportunities. But you should note that technology can help or hurt your business, depending on how you use it. The correct use of technology enhances business growth and is one of the main reasons small businesses significantly contribute to the global economy.