Overcoming Technology Barriers to Scale Your Business
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by Sean Bernard
It seems like technology is changing faster than ever, as the processing capacity of computers doubles every 18 months. Just as you become familiar with using a digital device and conducting business a certain way, something new comes along that causes you to upgrade. Changing old habits, such as downloading a new app or purchasing a new device, can be a frustrating process, especially when you’re unsure how it works. How can you be sure the technology you invest your time and money into is worth it?
This article will outline 3 key takeaways to consider when choosing to adopt new technology for your business.
The sentiment of the marketplace is, adapt or die. Those who don’t keep up with this evolving technological landscape are outperformed by competitors who do. For clear examples of this, reference the saga of Blockbuster Video vs. Netflix or Sears vs. Amazon. The victor utilized new disruptive technologies, and the loser did not. Blockbuster and Sears drastically underestimated the growth potential of e-commerce. Nasdaq estimates, “95% of purchases will be facilitated by e-commerce by 2040”. This estimate is based on the growing number of global internet users. Global internet usage is growing at a pace of 11 new users per second, that is about 1 million new unique users daily. Internet users also spend an average of 6 hours, 42 minutes online daily. This means all businesses must develop an online presence to reach customers and create brand awareness.
My role at OFFPRICE recently gave me the opportunity to serve as a technology education ambassador for buyers and exhibitors at the show. This experience taught me a valuable lesson; many business owners are unsure how to effectively use their current technology. Here are some ideas to consider before adopting a new piece of technology to assist with running your business:
1. Before taking on the challenge to learn a new piece of software, or upgrade to a new device, understand how to use the technology you currently own.
Ensure the adoption of your technology aligns with the goals of your business. Begin by asking yourself these questions: Why am I using this technology? What is its function? What are the goals I hope to accomplish through using it? If you’re having trouble using your current technology, reach out to others who can assist you and learn from them.
2. Budget money and time BEFORE investing in new technology.
Before you download a new app or invest in a new device, make sure it’s important! You want to be sure it isn’t another distraction or expensive piece of technology you’re frustrated with using. Before committing to new technology, create a budget for how much money you can spend, and how much time you can spend learning how to use it. This will help you determine the difference between what’s important and what’s an added distraction. For example, should you download TikTok to stay up to date on the latest internet trends? Probably not unless you plan to utilize its features to keep up with constant content creation. Otherwise, you may get caught watching an endless loop of cat videos. TikTok is highly addictive to use, and you may get lost in the algorithm, wasting countless hours watching mindless videos.
3. If you are resistant to upgrading or have given up on learning how to use new technology, OUTSOURCE IT!
You don’t have to become a technology wizard and understand how to troubleshoot every piece of software required to run your business. If technology is your weakness, then partner with others who have it as their strength. The worst thing you can do is hand over the keys to your business to someone else, only to have them drive it off a cliff by using technology you don’t understand. Understand the risks involved with adopting new technology and develop personal relationships with the trusted IT professionals you work with. Make sure you are in constant communication with those you are trusting to implement your digital strategies.
Technology can be scary when you’re unsure how to use it, especially if you feel forced to use it because everyone else is. Be sure to read this article written by OFFPRICE team members, so you can learn more about blending new technology with brick-and-mortar stores. Develop a clear strategy and goals before adopting new technology that claims to make your life easier. Chances are, it will only make life more difficult if you don’t take the time to learn how to use it and understand why you’re using it in the first place.
If you have any questions, contact our team.