Over the years we have seen our clients make the same 10 mistakes when buying technology. These common mistakes, once addressed lets SMBs make strides in productivity, communication, and see a reduction in business costs. Gaining an advantage in their industry while increasing profits and driving up business value. These mistakes shouldn’t be ignored.
Most SMBs choose to remain technological averse.
Many businesses view technology as a ‘last resort’ or ‘necessary evil.’ This can be problematic. Is your IT department built for 2016 or 2001? We have seen that the ability to adopt and use technology drive up productivity, eliminate human errors, gets you closer to your customers, and lowers business costs. This aversion is usually a by-product of a lack of skill, ignorance or emotional biases, and can cripple your business. So make sure you don’t fall into this trap, as the advances and easy access to technology have been well documented to not only help, but benefit your company.
Not having an evaluation process when adopting technology.
Most SMBs tend to overspend or purchase technology that doesn’t meet the strategic or tactical objectives of their business. Having an organized and formal process when adopting new technology, not only solves these problems, but ensures greater success and reduced spending when looking to adopt technology.
Avoiding the help of technological experts.
Most business leaders are accustomed to making major decisions and feel qualified to be the major decision makers when purchasing new technology. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Technology today is more complex, faster paced and offers such a selection of choice, that it’s nearly impossible to make the right decision if you don’t have the knowledge or experience to do so. This is why the ability to consult with a technological expert can be paramount for not only navigating the marketplace, but also ensuring you get the right technology and information for your company.
Having an informal IT support person.
This person is usually unofficially the IT support person, because they expressed some natural tact with IT and are identified as the go-to person whenever a problem occurs. This is problematic, because it adds additionally work for the employee on top of their real job, but also leaves many parts of their IT infrastructure ignored or unattended to. This is the famed the generalist vs. specialist debate. Having a generalist support your IT can lead to frustration, as they won’t be prepared to deal with all the problems they will face. Whereas using a specialists, whose main role is supporting your IT system will ensure you get the right solution for your IT problems.
Focusing strictly on getting the lowest price for technology.
This is not to say they aren’t willing to invest in their business, but rather that they are too focused on getting their technology at the cheapest price possible, thus compromising functioning or business requirements in the process. We aren’t advocating against negotiating with retailers and vendors to get the lowest price you can, but doing so at the cost of the functionality and benefits you require is problematic and will cost you more money in the long run, with either an outdated system that frequently breakdowns or need upgrades. Tight budgets are a reality, but you should be focusing on value instead of price.
Only focusing on maximizing return on investments.
This is true for technology, but is not without downsides. If an SMB doesn’t take a proactive balanced approach to upgrading and investing in their technology when needed, they will be operating at the cost of functionality and efficiency. The ability to upgrade or invest when needed, will ensure SMBs aren’t running an outdated infrastructure that is hurting their productivity and increasing costs. This doesn’t mean to upgrade at every new opportunity, but to make sure you do when you’re no longer getting the best out of your technology.
Making due with what you got.
Trying to repurpose or use a piece of technology outside of its desired application, hindering a company’s ability to move their business forward in a responsible way, as it can cause unforeseen consequences and timely problems that could be easily prevented. Using the appropriate technology for the desired solution, is not only the most productive use of your time, but also cut costs and increases efficiency.
Keeping the IT in-house.
Unless an SMB is in the IT business, it’s way more cost effective and efficient to outsource to experts than house an actually IT department. Due to size and requirements, having an entire department dedicated towards IT would drains resources, and with an abundance of service providers you can have the same service for a fraction of the price. Checkout out services pages for additional information.
Being overly swayed by sales pitches. It’s the salesperson job to persuade you to buy their service or products, which isn’t bad. But without adequate research on your end of what you need to help your business, you risk wasting your money purchasing solutions that don’t help you. Before purchasing a solution, make sure to consult with experts, talk to similar businesses about their solutions, and speak with the salesperson directly about your needs and expectations.
Leaders not commitment to their technology. SMB leaders have many responsibilities and are very busy, and as such when a technology decision comes up, they will evaluate and make a decision and leave the rest for others to complete. This lack of follow through, can be problematic as it leaves the most important part of the process up in the air. Being able to design a plan and follow through is monumental to ensure you are driving accountability, cost awareness, user acceptance and the greatest return on investment.
Targeting these 10 marketplace mistakes, will put you ahead of the competition and industry. But solving these mistakes doesn’t mean you aren’t in need of help. Checkout our website for additional information to ensure you aren’t following into anymore SMB technology traps.