When starting a business, whether as a sole trader or startup, sometimes the thought of integrating tech systems into a business strategy or plan can seem 'too hard' or 'excessive' in the first instance. Perhaps there will be no immediate positive effects, and in fact it might actually seem more resource intensive during the set up process, however there are many benefits to integrating relevant technology in your early phases of business, that will save time and money in the long term.
We've devised a few key steps that might make the integration process a little more straightforward, and ensure you're business is operating as productively as possible from day one.
Determine your Requirements
The kind of business you run will impact the nature of the technology that will be relevant to you. Some businesses are heavily dependent on administration tasks, others on sales, etc. It can be helpful in the first instance to determine what's preventing your business from being as productive as possible, and work forward from there.
Develop a Fluid and Timely Implementation Plan
When developing and integrating a tech implementation plan, it's important to ensure that processes are timed, but also allow for changes in an always-evolving business. This allows you to plan for those 'not just yet' requirements and will help to keep your growth and efficiency strategy on track.
Learn the System(s)
A common ailment when implementing new tech can be lack of staff training/understanding. Whether it's just you operating as a sole trader, or whether you have twenty staff members, when a new tech system is implemented, it can be challenging to learn the ins and outs straight away. It's pivotal to business operations however, that a business owner ensures that everyone using the system is making the most of its benefits. This will prevent tech-based inefficiency and employee dissatisfaction from occurring.
Putting a plan into place is great, but that's just the beginning. Then come the big questions. What's working? What's not? Why? Regular evaluation will ensure that any systems you put in place are working at their highest capacity, and helping rather than hindering your business.
Here are three simple ways we recommend implementing tech into your early stage business.
1. Bookkeeping Software will save you time generating invoices, chasing payments and will tell you when invoice payments have been made.
2. A High Quality Website that effectively communicates what your core business is all about, in a sleek, fun and professional manner will create a positive first impression to prospective clients. Consider discussing strategic 'keywords' with your web developer to ensure the best possible Search Engine Optimisation.
3. Staff/Client Communication System Communication is the key... okay maybe a key to success. A project management/comms program like Slack can help ensure you, your team and your clients always know what's up!