Technology has become integral to growth. The problem, however, is that it’s developing so fast. Sure, as far as problems go – that’s not a bad one to have. But the more apps on the market, the more we’re burdened by the paradox of choice.
Every app is a shiny new thing. You’ll likely come across many tech-solutions that will appear to be the ultimate investment for your business – but how do you know which shiny new thing is worth your time and money?
We’re tech people. But we’re more interested in advising you on the right technology for your business than simply telling you what we like or what’s the newest on the market.
So before you go all in on the new tech everyone is talking about, ask yourself the 5 W’s – who, what, where, why, when.
But always start with the why.
Why is it valuable to your business?
Tech can be the solution to many problems, but not all. No amount of shiny new features is going to solve a people problem, for example. So watch out for magpie syndrome!
Instead of getting carried away by all the wonderful features, think about the problems in your business this new tech could solve.
Is it going to save you precious time to focus on more important things? Cut costs in a particular area? What ripple effect will getting invoices paid faster have on other areas of your business?
Who in the team will it benefit?
You may feel like you’ve just found the solution to all of your business’s problems. You may have trialled a demo yourself and found the software to be seamless.
But when it comes to actually implementing it, you may not be the person using this new tech day to day. Make sure that the person carrying out the role you’re intending to evolve is on board. Also that you have the time and money to spare on them learning and implementing it.
What options are out there?
It’s always tempting to go for what we know. To automatically opt for names we’re familiar with.
Look at accounting software as an example. For many years Sage was the market leader. Sage do continue to bring out new versions to try and meet growing digital demands. But many business owners and their advisers moved to (what was then) the lesser known option, Xero, because it was easier to use, had better support, and was constantly innovating.
McDonald’s is the biggest name in the burger industry, but is it the best burger in town?
Where is the business going to be in five years time?
You don’t want to rush into a decision without thinking about your future. If you have plans to grow in the next five years, you’ll benefit most from tech that is able to grow with you.
Does that payroll software allow for additional employees down the line? Is that free invoice app suddenly going to become the most costly option when your sales increase?
It can be tempting to pick the most affordable ‘small business’ option now, but consider your business plan and think about the bigger picture first.
Not sure where you want your business to be in 5 years time? Don’t worry. Let’s start by looking at your goals, and then we can talk about the tech to get you there.
When you’ve chosen the tech, what comes next?
A new piece of software or a time-saving app can massively increase productivity, but what seems like a small saving grace could seem like a massive change to the people in your company.
To make sure the process of implementation is seamless, think about the systems you might need to change (or create!), skills that might need to be learnt and training you’ll need to put in place.
It might take a little work at the start, but it’ll all feel worth it when that new tech becomes ‘your way’ of doing things… faster, more efficiently, and with ease.
We believe that Xero is the best piece of tech to invest in for your the future of your business. We’ve explained why over on our Xero Trifecta page, but we encourage you to put the rest of W’s to the test and ask us!