Last Tuesday Nelly Yusupova of Webgrrls treated us to an energetic and entertaining couple of hours in a discussion about how and why we should introduce technology into our business processes.
When I had my business, a number of years ago, I couldn’t wait to get a computer and wanted a small business electronic POS system almost before they were invented. I wish I had known then what I know now. It’s so easy to take the wrong path, spend money unwisely, introduce technology that is not appropriate to the size and nature of the business and, worse, buy the shiny toys instead of the helpful tools.
That’s why Nelly’s words of wisdom rang true to me, and, I hope, to the other businesses gathered at the WECM/ICTAM “Tech Café” event on November 16.
The basics of a technology plan, which Nelly assures us, every business should have, starts with the strategic step of outlining the major goals and objectives of the business. Following that, businesses should document the major issues with which they are faced and what problems are the most needful of remedy. The next step is to look at what technologies (and I mean here, hardware, software and electronic marketing and communications mediums) we are currently using, how they are serving us and whether or not they are being used appropriately.
The rest of the planning exercise is to match the desired technology solution with the issue identified and ensure that its use is aligned overall with company goals, both current and long-term. Other questions we need to ask are: What features do we need? What purchase choices do we have? What resources do we need? and How do we measure success?
Along the way, we should see whether bringing on a technology expert will help us in making good decisions and, if so, ensuring that our tech guru speaks our language, understands our needs and is professionally competent.
Tuesday’s presentation was aligned with WECM’s WEC-Tech program, helping women to better utilize technology in their businesses. You can get more info on the program at http://www.wecm.ca/WEC_Tech/Wec_Tech_Program.cfm