You do it all. Long days on the job are followed by long evenings working over bids, handling payroll or reviewing the books. It’s your business, nothing is left to chance, and it can be overwhelming.
For a small business competing in today’s marketplace, jammed full of big companies with big budgets, survival can be difficult. Independent business owners and contractors know that they must continuously seek ways to operate more efficiently or they may be swallowed up by the competition. Small businesses now have the abilities to start their own blog, do advertising on a budget and many other things that were not possible 20 years ago.
Level the Playing Field
Everyone knows that working smart saves headaches and money. Prioritizing tasks, determining work hours, figuring staffing requirements and estimating costs accurately are essential skills for small business owners who want to show a profit at the end of the month.
Working fast is equally critical if you are going to keep up with the competition. It is essential that your company finds ways to handle all of these tasks quickly and efficiently. The good news is that technology can level the playing field for your small business and enhance its ability to compete with larger companies.
Entrepreneur Magazine makes the case for seeking out technology suited to your business as a key to smart and efficient business operations. Keep in mind that not all technology is appropriate for every business. There are a few things to consider when searching for the right technology for your company.
- Look for systems that actually make your job easier
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many companies spend vast sums on unnecessary technology that adds little value to accomplishing the job. Consider whether the technology you are considering will actually make your work easier, make it harder or have no effect. If it doesn’t make it easier, it’s probably not worth the cost.
- Is it easy to set up?
If the new technology you are considering requires staff additions to set it up and maintain it, think twice about bringing it into your small business. It’s not a cost saver if it results in additional expense.
- Can you actually make it work?
It may have all the bells and whistles, but if you, or your employees, cannot figure it out, operate it and use it, the technology is useless. Keep it simple and usable.
It is common for small business owners to feel intimidated by technology, even if it could make them more competitive and profitable. No one likes to leave their comfort zone.
An article in TechnologyAdvice cautions businesses not to allow the fear of technology to keep your business “in the slow lane”. It explains that by streamlining tasks like quoting, job estimating, sales, purchasing, inventory management, production and customer relations your work effort is multiplied.
For example, a self-employed contractor seeking a competitive edge with the big companies in town might look for a specialized technology like JobProgress.com, a system offering a variety of streamlining features for independent contractors.
Clearly, access to these features places a small business on a levelled playing field, allowing it to compete. That may be all that is necessary to take business success to the next level.
Get On an Equal Footing
Not all technology is suited for every business. Find the technology that will make your job easier and then get over the techno-fear. If you do, you can place your small business on an equal footing with any competitor.