Incorporating new technologies into your small business operations can be both a blessing and a curse. In theory, it should make our lives easier. In reality, it feels like the tech gods are playing a game of whack-a-mole with our sanity. It’s sort of like trying to teach an old dog new tricks, except the dog is your entire business, and the trick is just using a new software program. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you discover a whole new set of features you haven’t even touched yet. And don’t get us started on the never-ending updates and upgrades.
Tough though it may be, adapting to new technology is essential for small businesses to thrive in today’s world. We can’t stubbornly dig our heels in and expect to keep up with the competition.
If you’re feeling the pressure of bringing new tech into your business, but it’s got you feeling overwhelmed, here are four things you can do to get started.
Start with a clear goal: Like anything in life, you need to know where you want to go in order to figure out how to get there. Have a clear understanding of what you need to achieve. Identify the specific problem you’re trying to solve or the opportunity for improvement you want to pursue. This will help you select the right technology and ensure you’re not wasting precious time and money on something that doesn’t serve you.
Take small steps: New tech can be overwhelming, so resist the urge to do a complete overhaul all at once. Baby step your way into it. Focus on one area of your business and gradually introduce new technology as you become more comfortable with it. You’ll reduce errors and a lot of frustration.
Invest in training and support: That fancy new software isn’t doing you much good if nobody knows how to work it, right? Invest in training and support to ensure that you and your team can use new technology effectively. This can include online resources, vendor support, or even hiring a consultant to help with the transition. If you’re going to drop money on something, you want to make sure you're maximizing the benefits; otherwise, you’re no better off than you were previously.
Stay flexible: Think Gumby levels of flexibility. Technology can sometimes require adjustments to your business processes, so be open to making changes as needed. Be adaptable and willing to experiment and learn from your experiences, and don't be afraid to adjust course if something isn't working as expected. By staying flexible, you can ensure you get the most out of your technology investment and position your business for future success.
You might be looking at a (very steep) learning curve, but our best advice is to take a deep breath, put on your learning cap, and embrace the struggle. Who knows? You might surprise yourself and become a technology whiz in the process. Or, at the very least, you'll have a good story to tell at your next business conference.