Every modern day business that aims to be able to effectively satisfy its customer base, stay competitive, and experience growth requires at least three things; finances, vision, and technology. Without technology, a business is simply ill-equipped to survive, much less compete in the modern world. This is why it is generally advised that businesses take their technology as seriously as they do legal practices and taxes.
Technology is what makes it possible for a business to accomplish its objectives quickly and efficiently. But technology can only deliver such results if it is sufficient. This is why it is important that a business draws up an effective technology plan to match its short and long term goals. If you want to get started on drawing up your technology plan, the best place to start are the three steps listed below for analysing your small business’ technology needs.
- Draw up a technology inventory for your small business.
Create a Technology Inventory and Audit Worksheet which will contain all the various technological aspects that your business currently has and uses. This inventory will also state if your currently owned technologies are leased or fully owned by the business.
- Carry out a SWOT analysis for your small business.
A SWOT analysis analyses the Strengths and Weaknesses of your small business as well as the Opportunities and Threats currently facing it. Your business’ strengths might revolve around your high quality customer service or low prices, or even your market location. Your weaknesses on the other hand might include ineffective sourcing of materials or poorly trained staff. Whatever the case might be, draw up a list of your top strengths and weaknesses.
A similar list should be drawn up concerning the opportunities and risks facing your business.
- Align your primary business goals with appropriate technology tools.
Based on your SWOT analysis, identify your business’ top three business goals. Next step is to consider your list of available technologies and look at which can help your business achieve the listed goals. If your available technologies are insufficient, you can develop a list of technologies which are capable of helping you accomplish the defined goals. These new technologies can then be acquired by your company.
Various innovative technology tools are available to help with a variety of business circumstances. The important thing is to understand which can deliver the best results that match your business’ goals. Once you discover which technologies you need but do not have available, you can then go about acquiring what is needed by budgeting funds, and allocating time as well as man power towards facilitating the creation of your technology plan whilst ensuring the protection of your business. This will then be followed by the actual acquisition of necessary technologies that best match your business’ immediate or long term goals.