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You are a business owner but aren’t in the tech industry, so why would you need to focus heavily on adapting technology in your daily workflow? Some people may say you don’t need to. However, I’m here to put a bug in your head and prove how technology is critical to any business across any vertical. And that includes you!
We know technology can be intimidating. It also can be complex, and there are seemingly endless options. So, is it worth the cost, integration headaches and question if you are picking the right ones? Yes! Here are my top three reasons to focus on technology, and I’ll explain how to integrate it into your business:
1. Not applying technology means you could face a technology deficit
Let’s face it, not having a line item in your books for technology and software subscriptions means your company will hit a point where you can’t grow any further. Whether your marketing team will be missing major data points for essential customer acquisition or your efficiencies will eventually put you behind, your competition could pass you by (we’ll get to this one more in the next point). No matter the roadblock you will hit, the point is your growth will have to slow down or halt. You don’t want to wait until that point to use technology once the train has left the station without you!
Related: 5 Types of Technology All Entrepreneurs Need Access to in the Digital Age
2. Results are everything
No matter your business or vertical, your most valuable resource is your team. How can you empower your team to work smarter, not harder, and ultimately produce the best results? The answer is with the right technology! Even if your staff has been set in their ways and doesn’t want to learn a new program, you must pick the right operational systems and offer proper training. A minor setback in the learning curve will mean a huge uptick in productivity.
I once ran into a mid-sized company that was technologically behind due to not prioritizing this aspect of its business. This inadequacy caused marketing and sales to lag compared to its competitors. I likened their technological powers and abilities to taking a knife to a gunfight.
If a company can increase its operational automation in the marketing space, that would allow it to understand its target customer and truly understand how to sell to its market in an efficient and results-driven way.
A data warehouse and congruent CRM would allow this business to properly segment and hit goals for its best marketing demographic more accurately. Identifying, understanding and addressing low-hanging fruit, such as abandoned shopping cart funnels, is crucial.
When you are focused on results, technology almost always needs to be integrated to increase efficiencies and drive sales in the long run. And it’s always easier and cheaper to integrate the right technology early to ensure your team is trained and using it along the way!
Related: How Technology Is Shortening the Road to Fame
3. You’re increasing your footprint of liabilities without the right technology
I’ve seen every range of technology integration, from the tech-savvy millennial CEO who relies on data and analytics for every business decision to the companies that don’t integrate it at all and still use a pen and paper within every significant department. However, if you are closer to the latter, you are potentially putting your team at a huge safety risk. If you have only minimal or wrong technology, you could be putting your customers, reputation and finances at risk too!
I’ve even seen clients using only a single source for major bookkeeping and documentation, like Excel. One wrong move or fat-fingered mistake can change your calculations completely. Or worse, delete everything! If that isn’t risky, I don’t know what is.
Technology can feel overwhelming, which is often why we hear people stay away from adding it to their daily workflow. However, there are simple ways to make that change. Start with finding a company to give you a technical audit — which is often cheaper than you might expect. Take their advice and then apply it in chunks.
You may not need to go from 0 to 100 in the first week. You can slowly add, integrate and manage critical technology into various departments as you feel comfortable. And as I mentioned earlier, a key to tech success is training! Empower your team to take the tech leap with you and work on this together. Everyone can learn a new trick, and it could even be fun! Finally, ensure that you have a base infrastructure to make the ideal environment for success. This includes having the basic technology hardware and compatible systems in place.
Take this article as your sign to take the first step and better your business with tech!