When starting a new company, it is important to identify and separate the technology that will help you grow your business from those that will end up as window dressing. And while it is easy to think of technology as a one size fits all solution to the problems of your startup, the key is to identify what will serve as the right solution for the growing needs of your business.
So, how do you make the right decision out of the myriad of tools and options available?
Know what your business needs –
Before you can choose the solution that fits your business needs, you will need to carry out what is called a technology audit of your startup. A technology audit will answer the following questions:
- What technology do you currently have in place?
- How well is it working for your business?
- What can be added to your existing system to enhance your operations?
Some of the common areas where you will need improvements in technology include:
- Finance and accounting
- Ordering and tracking
- Database management
- Human resources
Fortunately, there are quite a number of good technology solutions that will meet your requirements in these areas.
Understand your current skill set –
The technology solution you choose for your startup will depend a lot on your current skill set, or that of your team.
Small businesses and startups are under a lot of pressure to be on the cutting edge of technology, but while new technology will provide a lot of benefits to your business, it will take more than just a new set of bells and whistles to get the job done. You have to know how to use these tools. To this end, when choosing technology for your startup, be sure to choose tools that you or someone on your team is familiar with, so that you don’t end up with technology no one can use or understand.
Anticipate growth –
Investing in new technology doesn’t cost pennies – it can actually be quite expensive. This is why you have to keep the future in mind when buying technology for your startup. You should invest in technology that can grow along with your business. This means going for scalable solutions and tools that won’t get outdated very quickly.
If the technologies you invest in become outdated faster than you anticipated, you will be stuck with expensive tools that are to all intents and purposes, useless. Therefore, do your research properly and consult with people who have been in the industry so that you choose technology that is worth the investment.
Have a backup plan –
It is a fact of life that everything, even technology, can one day fail, and it is vital that you have a plan to hand for when that happens. Technology failure will do a lot more harm to young businesses than to older, stronger businesses. In fact, technology failure can completely undermine your startup, causing it to fail.
Whatever solution you decide to go with, ensure that you have a disaster recovery solution in place. This includes backup power, extra hardware and cloud storage.
These contingency plans can be the difference between a simple inconvenience and total disaster.