Technology: Some small-businesses thrive on it while others see it as a necessary evil in the modern world. As a security dealer, you not only have to keep a handle on the technology involved with alarms, security cameras and door locks, you must know how alarm billing software, communication platforms and cloud data storage can help you stay competitive.
A 2016 survey of Chicago small-business owners discovered 46 percent of the entrepreneurs believed they needed help with technology to succeed in the coming year, according to the Medill News Service. They not only felt rapidly evolving business tools leave them behind, but missed opportunities cost them sales and lose them long term customers. If you want to get the most out of technology opportunities, here are a few things you need to know:
Knowing what technology can do
You may waste hours on back-office activities that automated security billing software or similar solution could resolve in minutes. Not knowing what functionality modern technology offers prevents you from implementing data collection systems and mobile apps readily available.
The Chicago survey found marketing was the primary concern of small-business owners. Meanwhile, Accounting Web reported 23 percent of entrepreneurs in charge of small organizations don’t spend money on advertising. Modern social media sites provides any company with the opportunity to communicate with consumers and spread brand awareness with little cost to resources.
If you do use a social platform like Facebook, you can collect data on interactions to see how effective cost-efficient campaigns really are. By starting with free information resources, you may discover where and when to acquire more advanced data solutions.
Stopping small businesses from being overoptimistic
Sometimes technology trends are quite exciting. Just because you come across multiple stories of small-businesses profiting from a particular innovation, it doesn’t mean it will work with your organization. It’s not always a matter of finding what’s popular, but rather what’s right for you.
Instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, you should work with a software provider or technology vendor with experience in your particular industry. You want a technology partner with case studies or other education materials relevant to your size and needs.
Expecting too much from software solutions sets you up for failure. You shouldn’t expect technology to be a cure all. New investments should solve particular pain points that you detail to possible providers.
Moving beyond legacy systems
New software doesn’t always integrate with existing systems, or computing assets may be too expensive for growing companies. The biggest obstacle to successful technology implementation, however, is usually attitude. Small-business owners may sabotage their own technology adoption plans by dragging their heels and sticking to old ideas.
You built your company on your ideas and best practices, technology solutions may seem like they’re late to the party and unnecessary. Once you recognize the possible benefits of software and computing assets, you also have to ensure the equipment and systems work in conjunction with your current infrastructure. This way, you’re not replacing your successful ideas, you’re adding to them.