Today’s guest post comes from Sandy Hammer. I’ve invited her to share her thoughts on the impact of technology in our industry. With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.
Most small business owners share a goal of making something more of their efforts. Once you’ve dipped your feet in, you want to go farther, turning your business into an entity that can handle more and better clientele, and provide you with everything you want, including recognition, quality of life, and financial security.
Scaling your business has many challenges, most of which can be faced with the help of technology. Apps, software, gadgets and tools are available to make almost every business problem disappear. Finding the right combination and application of technology when you decide to scale your business is crucial to your success.
Here are a few tips to consider when using technology to scale your business:
Ensure Your Tech Addresses Your Pain Points
As incredible as technology can be for a business, there are pain points that are inherent in adopting new equipment or procedures. Business leaders must anticipate which pain point might be triggered, and not simply adopt new technology with preparation.
A company has to be committed to funding new technology, as well as providing training and support while everyone adapts to it. Once it is accepted and begins to work smoothly, the cost, efficiency and transparency in the data will support scaling the company to the next level.
Don’t Scale Too Fast
One risk when scaling a new business up is making the move too quickly. Technology helps streamline business processes, providing organization and increasing efficiency. Collaborative apps, tools and software products keep entire teams on the same page and up to date on all the details. Everyone can communicate effectively while working together in an online environment.
These improvements in function and process can help prevent the disasters typically associated when new small businesses scale up too quickly.
Weigh the Cost vs. Benefit of Fees
While it would be so nice to scale up your business on the back of all free apps and software, the reality is that some tech costs money. Fees can add up quickly and endanger a business rather than help. Evaluate whether a fee-based service will alleviate your identified pain points and help you organize, streamline and provide operational efficiency and collaboration. If it will, the fees may prove worth their value. Establish a way to track and monitor ROI so you can decide whether or not to continue using fee-based services with the help of actual data, not just instinct.
Wondering which to consider? Some of our favorite apps and tools are SLACK, TRELLO, Dropbox, Google Docs, Skype, Roberform and Expensify. They help our team to operate efficiently and effectively.
The Importance of Maintaining a Human Connection
Being personable is more important than ever, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. As products and services become more and more automated, clients crave personable brands and businesses. They want to see that there is someone behind the automation and technology. Be present and reachable. Respond to emails and social media comments, and provide quality customer service. That connection is crucial to success.
Overall, technology is an incredible gift to small businesses. If used wisely, in an environment that values growth and change, it can be exactly the magic pill you were seeking.