by Steve “The Hurricane”
Technology can make your life easier at work, if you choose to invest in the right products for your small business. In this episode of Small Biz TV, I discuss the reasons why you should feel confident that investing in technology is the right decision for your company.
Previously, I’ve spoken about the importance of investing in yourself and your staff, because they’re your company’s biggest resources. The third-most important resource to invest in is your business itself: The website. The SEO. The contact management. The prospect management. It can be a huge investment to manage everything related to your business in this regard.
When you’re a one-person operation and you only make five figures, you may do well enough with Excel spreadsheets and Act! Pro. But as you grow your business and become a six- or seven-figure operation with employees, you need to have systems in place to make your company run more smoothly. Investing in technology is an important step to take.
It’s possible to spend $10,000 or more on software and technology, which can seem daunting, especially if it’s the first time that you’re making this type of investment for your company. Fortunately, you don’t have to take this step blindly.
Seek out similar businesses
Get guidance from someone who does exactly what you do. Seek out someone who’s a little more experienced than you – maybe he’s been in business longer or is successful in another way that you haven’t yet achieved. A business is beyond yours will have exactly the expertise that you’re seeking.
If you’re an accountant, seek out other accountants. If you’re a healthcare professional, find similar healthcare professionals. Call someone at least 30 minutes outside of your business area so it isn’t a competitor. You’ll be surprised to see how many people will offer you helpful feedback.
My friend Christine, who owns an ice cream shop, is an excellent example. When she bought the shop, she sought advice from others who owned ice cream shops. She drove 30, 40, 50 minutes away from her business so she wouldn’t be approaching her competition, then walked into the stores with owners who had been in business for 10, 15 years or more. She’d say: “Can I ask you some questions about how you run your business? I just bought an ice cream shop.” The owners invited her in and talked with her for an hour. They gave her all sorts of practical tips: Do this. Don’t do that. Try this. Try that. She got so much good information about how to improve her operation, including advice about technology.
You can get the same type of feedback from people in your industry. Don’t be afraid to approach them, and you should be pleasantly surprised.
Try before you buy
Once you know what type of technology that you want to invest in, go online. You don’t have to purchase without a test drive; many companies will let you try their software for a short demo period to see if it works for you.
A while ago, I was looking for some CRM software for our website, and it turned out to be one of the best investments I’ve made. I ended up with Infusionsoft, which is very pricey, but it’s worth it. I strongly believe that a good product isn’t cheap and a cheap product isn’t good. That’s why I felt comfortable making the investment after test-driving Infusionsoft during the demo period. This product was worth the investment, because it has everything that we need. It ties in our website and SEO, our sales funnel management, our newsletter, our lead capture and more. Even our billing is done through it.
Between the software, support management and having the staff certified to use it properly, I’ve invested five figures in Infusionsoft, but having the automation that this technology offers is almost like having an employee that can generate revenue while we sleep. It took some work to get it going in the beginning, but now it generates leads, responds automatically and works 24/7. This technology has given me freedom. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Whether you’re a one-person company or you employ 20, 50 or 100 people, your technology and software is a very key thing to invest in. Do your homework, invest wisely and you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your decision.
We are small biz coaches. If you need guidance and direction to figure out what technology is right for your company, give us a call. We’re here to serve you and help you Blow Away The Competition!