Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve wanted to become your own boss for years. You have a great business idea and have finally taken the leap out on your own. But now what? How do you go from the passion and the determination to make a difference with your business to actually MAKING it happen?
One word. And that’s technology.
Yes, but WHAT technology? Is it necessary to buy huge servers and spend millions on the latest and greatest pieces of software, just to ‘have’ technology?
Absolutely not! Here are some of the questions that you need to ask before you – as a small business – spend a cent on any technology.
What Are Your Needs?
First of all, ask yourself what your needs are. If you’re a creative freelancer, do you really need a fancy project management suite of tools? If you’re not managing projects for your clients, which involve multiple stakeholders, you don’t need a complex tool, with multiple licences, which makes the job of managing your deliverables more time-consuming than it already is.
Same again goes with the issue of multiple licences. If you need a certain software package, and you only need one licence for yourself, only buy one licence. Don’t buy the enterprise package because ‘one day’ you’ll have people to use them. Rather buy licences when you need them.
More Expensive Is Not Necessarily Better
This comes down to what you can afford. If you only have a certain budget and have specific technology requirements, don’t break the bank just so that you can buy the technology that everyone else has.
Rather, look at your needs and see if there’s an equally good opensource version that meets your requirements that doesn’t have the hefty price tag. (‘Open source’ doesn’t mean that it’s free because it’s pirated. Open Source says that if a piece of software is Open Source its licence states that anyone is able to use and modify it.)
It’s OK To Chop And Change
Remember that technology exists to serve you and not the other way round, and that’s why it also lets you play online Roulette. If you feel that you’re in a position in which your business processes are being ruled by technology, and it’s not adding anything significant to your bottom line, find something else!
Just because you’ve chosen a particular solution doesn’t mean that you need to be married to it from here in out. The very nature of technology is that it changes constantly. It grows and develops as technologists as well as software developers, devise new and innovative ways to solve problems.
They are inviting you to change your solution! In fact, they are giving you permission as well as providing you with the new product. Think about the model that Microsoft has instituted with Office 365. For a set yearly fee, when updates and improvements are developed for the software, they give them to you!
As a small business owner, technology can seem like quite a daunting aspect as you don’t know if what you’re choosing is right for your business. Don’t worry if you don’t choose the right thing the first time – there’s always time to change your decision.