Small businesses need a professional business-tech consultant
As I come in contact with small business owners and entrepreneurs that are launching start-up companies, I often observe the lack of interest in acquiring professional tech support or a business-tech consultant. Many small business owners feel that they can’t afford professional business-tech support, that it is only necessary for larger companies / organizations, and that they can best oversee the business-technology for their company. I most cases, each of the reasons mentioned above are more perceptions than actual facts.
… can’t afford professional business-tech consultant
Business-tech support and consulting can be acquired to meet your specific situation and budget which can give your some flexibility in the level of support you get and the cost of that support. May business-tech service providers will negotiate lower fees if you are willing to forgo some services. You may only need consultation to plan and acquire your business-technology and can handle installation and integration of your technology. Others may only need install and configurations services while some will get business-tech support as needed. Include your business-tech support, services, and consulting in your operating budgets. Your business-tech increases productivity, customer interactions and your bottom-line.
… only necessary for larger companies / organizations
Business-tech support and consulting is NOT exclusive to larger companies or organizations. In fact, if you want to really compete with larger companies your business-tech systems and integration is one place that you can level the playing field with your larger competitors. As a small business, technology can be utilized effectively to create a large branding footprint, have a large customer reach and be more responsive to a dynamic customer base. Larger businesses are often cumbersome and less dynamic. Small businesses require less ‘scale’ when integrating technology and work-flow procedures which facilitates a faster “plan-to-implementation” cycle.
… can best oversee the business-technology for their company
Small business owners and entrepreneurs where a lot of “hats”. They are often founders of the business and are very invested and involved in every step. This is a good thing, but small business owners and entrepreneurs must also recognize that they can benefit from a business-tech professional that has expertise and experience with business technology.
5 Small Business Benefits from a Professional Business-Tech Consultant
- Single point of contact – Your business-tech consultant becomes your go-to person with any technology questions you may have. This can save you time and effort when you need answers. In the absence of a business-tech consultant you may spend hours corresponding with several vendors or service providers and still end feeling confused and fatigued. A business-tech consultant knows the right questions to ask and can make inquiries that take into account your existing technology, work-flows and systems. Having your “tech guy” also helps small business owners and entrepreneurs have confidence that the information that they receive is given with your organization’s best interest in mind. Your business-tech consultant is not driven by sales quotas so they don’t advocate for technology that is unnecessary or does not provide value to your operations.
- Benefit from business-tech consultant’s experience and expertise – Many small business owners and entrepreneurs or great generalist. They have knowledge enough to oversee the general operations but often lack the specialized knowledge in areas like technology. A business-tech consultant knows business technology. Your business benefits from a knowledgeable consultant because they understand business-tech best practices and is aware of emerging technologies and can help you avoid “death by trial and error”. A consultant can help you build your technology based of industry best practices which will provide a strong foundation as you expand. Using industry standards and best practices in the early stages of your technology build, can save you a lot of money by prevent integration of technology that you soon have to upgrade or replace. Though technology changes at amazing speeds, a business-tech consultant is knowledgeable in new tech, technology that is emerging and understands if these new technologies will be of any benefit to your unique situation. This brings us to avoiding “death by trial and error”. “Death by trial and error” is when you increase your frustration level, process down-time and the amount of money spent, blindly trying technologies that don’t quite meet your requirements. Though some trial and error is fine, a business-tech consultant can significantly reduce this by making better initial choices on which technologies to try.
- Better technology integration – Your consultant can guide your technology acquisitions so that you only get technology that works well with your existing systems and technologies. The better your technologies work together, the more efficient your work process will be and that directly reflects in your bottom line. Technology’s main benefit to business is the potential increase in productivity. If your business-tech and associated systems are not well integrated it can have a negative effect on your business productivity. Poorly integrated technology can cause unnecessary additional steps in a work-flow, cause downtime and loss of revenue and present security vulnerabilities.
- Save Time – As a small business owner or entrepreneur, your talents and expertise are in your particular business and industry. A professional business-tech consultant removes your tech tasks and concerns from your ‘to-do” list. Time is one of the most precious commodities in the business world. There are a limited number of hours in a day so you must use your time wisely and productively. As a business owner or manager of a business, your time is best used, actually managing the business! The hours spent trying to figure out the nuances of a software suite or why your assistant can no longer scan to her email from the copier, is time that could be sent acquiring new customers, improving work processes or a number of other things that could further that business. A business-tech consultant can also save you time by helping you implement new technology or quickly and efficiently, avoid extended ‘down’ time.
- Save Money – A professional business-tech consultant can ultimately save you a lot of money. Business-tech consultants help you avoid the costs of acquiring technology that does not integrate well with your existing systems. Often, business owners and entrepreneurs will deal with sales persons from vendors. The vendor sale person’s job is to sell you as much as they can and they often convince the unknowing business owner, of buying more than they need or technology that will cause integration problems. When a business owner has a business-tech consultant, the more knowledgeable consultant, can negotiate price and feature-set of the technology and not be under or over sold. A business-tech consultant can also help you save money by creating solutions for your unique situation. Because they understand technology and methodology, they can often devise alternate work-flows and use various lower-cost technologies to achieve your desired outcome. Finally, a business-tech consultant can save you money buy saving your time! In business, time = money… let a business-tech consultant free you of the time you spend researching, learning, training and implementing your technology.
Every business should have a business-tech consultant if they don’t have a dedicated and qualified person in-house to perform tech duties. NO BUSINESS IS TOO SMALL! Even a one person business, with no employees can benefit from a business-tech consultant. Technology can make your business more competitive, help you operate more efficiently and directly impact your profit/loss statement. Stop taking an ad-hoc approach to your business technology, get a consultant and free yourself to improve and grow the core business.