How to Maximise your Technology

Why are you wasting your technology opportunities?

Everyone in business (even if you’re hiding under a rock) knows of the vast array of technology available to us – which when used correctly will save us time, money and frustration.  So why is it that so so many business owners are still struggling and wasting their technology opportunities?

I work with business owners every day who are Thought Leaders in their field.  They’re smart and achieving great things but still wasting time and money with their technology use – so what do I share to combat it?  Heres a simple 4 step plan to maximise your return on your technology – even if you have the platforms in place jump to step 2 to complete an annual review.

Step 1:  Draft a plan

A key issue I see with use of small business technology is that the needs are not well thought out. Often people are recommended a platform because it worked well for a friend or (and this is typical of high achieving entrepreneurs) its a new shiny thing that needs to be discovered.

Neither of these approaches works well as the platform generally will not suit your needs.  So what is an easy approach?

  • Make a note of the functions you need i.e. online calendar for bookings, CRM, delivery of online program, marketing automation
  • Plan a budget – for now and 5 years, look at what your staffing needs will be and if the platform charges per user – what will this cost look like?
  • Draft a shortlist of platforms that fit your needs (note: asking Chat GPT will provide a comprehensive short list)
    – Be aware that although we all want that one platform that does everything – often it doesn’t exist and we need to have a few
  • Find out what platforms peers and industry colleagues are using – ask what they like and what they don’t like.
  • Choose a couple that fit your needs and you like the look and feel of
    – Sign up to their free trial and jump in.
    – Is the interface intuitive to use?
    – Do you like the look and feel of the platform and interface?
    – Can you navigate easily even without intensive training?
  • Pick the platforms that provide the features you need but importantly feel right to you – if the interface isn’t working for you look for something else as its likely you won’t use something that doesn’t feel right)
Step 2: Make it easy

Technology use shouldn’t be hard in this day and age.  Technology for small businesses should be easy to access, easy to use and easy to adopt.  So what elements do we need to look out for?

  • Use cloud based technology so you can access the platform anywhere, at any time
  • Ensure that it easily integrates with your email, calendar and any other platforms you need it to (i.e. accounting and marketing platforms)
  • Get it set up correctly – either invest the time in learning how to use and set up or have someone set up the back end and train you on everyday use
    – Tip:  if you invest in someone setting up and training you – ask them to provide key task videos – a series of short videos showing you how to do X – this will be a lifesaver when its late and you’re trying to do something
  • Download the mobile app for on the go connectivity
Step 3:  Maximise Value

Another issue I see frequently with clients is that they are only using a small percentage of the technology available to them.  On average we see clients using only 30% of the features – most often this is due to the platforms not being set up correctly and user knowledge.

So what can we do to maximise the value we receive from our technology?

The main area as mentioned above is ensuring that the platform is set up correctly, that we know what features are available to us  and we are using all of the features we need.

This should include

  • Integration of other platforms for data flow i.e. email, calendar, CRM, accounting platform
  • Automation opportunities i.e. contact details flowing to other platforms, communication sequences to clients such as onboarding details and data management.
  • Learning when new features become available and understanding how you can adopt them into your business.

Secondly ensure that you are training  new staff on platform use and what your business best practice is.  Share your protocols for data management and ensure they are trained in your use so that your processes do not become diluted over time.

Step 4:  Keep safe

With technology (especially cloud based technology) comes potential hacks.  We have all been exposed to the worry of the latest data breaches – its something that we have to contend with as a society when using cloud based platforms.  However, theres a few things we can do and put in place to combat potential breaches.

  • Ensure all users have strong password protection
  • Install 2 factor authentication across the board
  • Install updates as they come available as these often include security patches
  • Back up data and know how to access it when you need to

This simple 4 step approach will help when investigating new technology options however its also smart to complete steps 2 – 4 annually to ensure that you are maximising your return on investment.  Your time and money are worth it.

If you’d like to discuss more regarding your current platforms and technology use – simply book a call