Tech has come a long way over time. In previous decades, technology wasn’t relied upon to run a business, often seen as a big expense for business owners. Today, technology is everywhere and heavily replied upon to run a business. Technology is now mainly software and ranges from being free to costly.
When it comes to what technology you need for your business there are many factors to consider. While it can be tempting to buy and operate all the latest devices and gadgets, it may be unnecessary in your industry.
The technology needed for your business will depend on what services you offer and what you are aiming to achieve. Technology options can include:
- Accounting/Bookkeeping Solutions
- Scheduling/Calender Software
- Email Software
- Social Media
- What Other Technology Does My Business Need?
Accounting / Bookkeeping Solutions
Accounting software is something most businesses need. This software allows you to keep records for accounting purposes and can help with planning too. Accounting software allows you to check how your expenses are tracking against your income at any time. This technology often comes on a subscription basis where you are automatically charged each month, quarter or year. Setting reminders of when these subscriptions will renew is advised. This will allow you to keep on top of what technology services you are paying for and if they are no longer required, cancel them to save your business money.
Another form of technology that most businesses require is a form of scheduling/calender software. There are numerous generic and industry specific software systems varying in price. When choosing which is best for your business, it is recommended to start with what you need then upgrade as your needs increase. Some software systems begin with free options, allowing you to trial it out and see if it works for you.
As tempting as it can be to go straight to the top of the range, it is important to start with the basics to ensure it is suitable. Once you know it’s right for your business, you can upgrade to the paid option to get the full functionality. The small investment each month for the paid option can repay you in other ways, especially if it saves you and your employees time, allowing you to focus on other areas.
For some businesses 2 or 3 different systems that are integrated may be best. For others, a bigger system that does everything may be more suitable. If going with several systems, it is advised to make sure they all work together. It can be worth the investment to pay a professional to set them up correctly if this isn’t your forte.
Today’s fast paced lifestyle means you must be top of mind with your customers, especially if there are long time periods in your buying cycle. Email software can be a useful tool to help you keep in touch with your audience. Email software allows you to receive data back regarding open rates and who is and isn’t reading your emails. If you are spending multiple valuable hours writing email copy and it’s not getting read, then it’s not worth the time. Automating emails can help provide consistency. Start small and build up as you have the time and capacity to do so.
Social media is another good place to use technology. Facebook has its own free scheduling tool, allowing you to set up multiple posts ahead of time. It’s not 100% fool proof so it’s advised to re-check your scheduled posts time to time and re-adjust any scheduled posts if current events change. Facebook has now introduced Facebook Creator Studio that allows you to schedule into Instagram too.
There are numerous third party social media scheduling tools that allow you to post to multiple platforms at one or one after another. It’s important to do your homework before buying these third party tools. These tools cost money and can often be integrated with other paid software.
Care must be taken when posting to multiple platforms at once.
Why? To ensure you are communicating in a way suitable to the platform.
For example, Instagram loves hash tags and multiple hash tags in the one post are acceptable, helping you reach your potential audience. However, the same post filled with hash tags would not be great for Facebook. Yes, one or two hash tags in Facebook are OK, but using the same amount as you do in Instagram can reduce your reach.
Depending on your skills, budget, time and passion, it may be best for you and your business to outsource your technology.
Your businesses website is a great example of this. While there are many low cost DIY website software platforms, these often have several add on costs.
It is important to weigh up the benefits of maintaining your website yourself versus outsourcing.
- Do you have time to commit to building and maintaining the website?
- How will you attract Google and potential customers to your website?
- Do you have the passion and creative flair to make your website appealing and customer friendly?
- Do it yourself also has limited growth.
They are often stand alone platforms meaning when you need to grow you will find yourself having to move to a larger, more robust platform which means starting from scratch all over again.
What Other Technology Does My Business Need?
When thinking of buying technology, it is important to remember your reasons for doing so. Do you have the time to learn all about it or will it become an expense that sits in a forgotten folder on your computer? Technology should make your life easier, save you time or money and it can’t do that unless you or one of your employees learns how to use it to its full advantage.
Cathy at CATCO Enterprises is the Attraction Maven helping businesses attract their dream customers easily online
Cathy Smith has run the same Marketing Agency for more than 19 years and has helped hundreds of business owners achieve their marketing goals. Cathy’s passion and knowledge for digital marketing has helped thousands of businesses reach their dream customers easily online.
If you want to build your social media channels, increase traffic to your website or develop a digital marketing strategy for your business call Cathy on 0409 489 464 today.