You get bombarded every day with new technology solutions which could revolutionize your business. The problem is you don’t know how this revolution will affect your P&L or your day to day operations. Allow me to share what I believe is the key to embracing small business technology without losing control.
Technology has never “fixed” a problem in a business. To fix business problems people who implement new procedures with accountability are needed. The key to embracing technology in your small business is to first develop the processes and accountability for what you want to happen. Then apply technology in order to reduce costs and/or drive efficiency.
Certain opportunities can only be realized with the right technology, but you still must choose the technology carefully so that it fits in to your overall operational plan and processes. A good example of this is a touch screen point of sale system. Without such a system, to track customer activity and implement rewards programs is almost impossible. However, if you just choose a system which does this one thing, you will lose control of other processes you already have in place.
A touch screen point of sale system not only allows you to track customer activity, it also manages your menu, allows your employees to clock in and clock out, and allows you to take orders and communicate with the kitchen. All of these additional processes can be done manually; you most likely have good control over these areas of your business. Find a point of sale solution that fits well with the way you already run these processes.
No matter whether you are looking to add technology solutions to your marketing, operations, employee management or customer engagement, make sure you understand every area of your business that this new technology solution will touch. Intentionally build processes and accountability into your business before applying technology, thinking the technology will “fix” operational issues. Make sure the technology solution will pay for itself through increased efficiency in existing processes while opening up new opportunity for growth.
Have a great day!