It’s a jungle out there when it comes to tools for startups and medium-sized businesses. But the real question remains to be answered for each case: is it worth it? Try to avoid hopping on the technology fads without wholly understanding how they affect your business. Check out these tips to help you find the right tech tool that fits your business:
The Tools’ Track Record for Similar Businesses
Imitation is no longer flattery when it comes to this strategy. It’s a cost-efficient way to use tools that work. If you specialize in e-commerce, there are apps that specialize in that. If you are a consulting firm, you can try Cloud-based project scheduling software or project management software to deliver to your clients. But ultimately, you need to check around your industry to see if these tools are doing a good job for similar businesses. This little piece of research can go a long way for you.
How Does Your Tech “Listen” to Your Problems?
Try getting in touch with the customer care team of the tools you are using. If you hit a snag or problem with the tech, they are your go-to resource. Make sure that these people are incredible and reliable before you shell out hard-earned business income to put their tool on your monthly overhead.
Low-hanging Fruit for Technology Tools
Look at what’s immediately needed and fill in for those gaps first. These tech tools are here to make life easier. Hence, don’t get bogged down with analysis paralysis. These tools can be replaced anytime, especially if the tools are membership-based. Some good ideas to ask at this stage is how your data is going to be stored, who owns the data produced on their platform (if it’s SAAS or Cloud-based entirely), and how you can export the data to be consumed by other tools for your analysis of business intelligence.
The Simpler, the Better
You don’t need Iron Man levels of technology to make a living online. Find something simple enough for you and your staff, and do away with too many features that introduce so much complexity in your tool stack for your business’ technology.
You can have experts weigh in on your choices before you finalize your decision. Get some IT or software professionals on your side when you make your choices so that you are also technically sound when you avail of a tool or service. It will help if you have a custodian for tools and access so that your employees will not be able to bring the contents of the tech tool when they leave the company.
At this point, the final tip is to take advantage of the trial period some tools offer. A lot of tools being marketed for startups are generous with a trial period. Most businesses can give 14 to 30 days so that you can evaluate if their solution fits your needs. Take advantage of these offers, and ask all the questions that you need. You can be assured that you are making the right choice for your business. Leave some fluidity for change, too, in case your priorities change next year and you might need to switch to bigger and better tools.