No one wants to make a mistake. This is particularly true in any business setting, but mistakes can stand out even more in a small business professional environment. However, we all make mistakes. The question is how do you avoid making costly technology related mistakes for your small business?
Let’s face it. Technology decisions are hard. Businesses can become caught up sorting through all the available choices, options, services, and solutions. Rapid technology advancements and changes with respect to features and functionality doesn’t make it any easier. Small business owners often don’t have the technical knowledge to make tech buying decisions a comfortable experience. But choosing the right technology provider can be a true game changer for your business. It is essential for competitive positioning and differentiation.
Some common IT challenges that drive small business technology decisions include:
- Lack of Security
- Need an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Need IT Support for your growing business
- Want to move to Cloud Services
And since most small businesses require the same technologies to function, technology decision mistakes impact all industries.
- Health care
- Advisory services
So as a small business leader, how do you assess what solutions you need?
Here are some questions to consider when embarking on finding the right technology services and solutions for your business.
- What are our specific needs?
- How much can we afford to spend?
- What are the benefits we will get?
- Who should we evaluate?
- What criteria should we use help make the decision?
- How long will it take to get implemented?
- How will we know if we made the right choice? And when?
- What happens if we are dissatisfied? What are the business and financial implications?
- What services can we expect from the vendor?
- How will we get trained and supported?
- How quickly can support be proved if we have a question or issue?
- How do we know we are considering the right set of providers? Are there reviews and references?
- How do we know that these are quality providers?
- Who else uses them? Do they have experience with companies like ours?
- Can we get help in the selection process?
- What else can the provider offer that we may be interested in or as we grow?
In the past, small businesses have been limited to doing a Google search, asking another company that had to make a similar decision, self-education via trade articles, or even accepting a cold call from a vendor. This is an archaic and dangerous way to conduct vendor selection and evaluation.
A technology decision mistake can result in:
- Wasted time
- Wasted money
- Damage to personal reputation
- Damage to company image
- Lost business
The best way for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to make technology decisions is to use a matchmaking service that provides a curated and tailored list of providers in the areas that you are interested in. The service can provide a full list of potential suppliers, feature lists, costs and reviews. This ensures that you have the right fit and that you are minimizing your risk, minimizing your costs (comparative shopping), and getting precisely the features and capabilities that you want and need.
The right technology matchmaking service will focus on SMBs and the technologies required by SMBs. It will have a pre-populated and extensive database of technology providers as well as references for each. It will help you in the selection process if you require. It will provide RFP responses to your precise needs. And the match-making service will not charge you a fee.
So why wouldn’t you want to seek assistance, improve your knowledge and insight, and help minimize your risk? The answer is that there is no reason not to use a technology procurement and match-making service. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This will save you time, money, reduce your risk of a poor decision, and help you make technology decisions with confidence.
Find the right technology providers with TechStak. The new way to find and connect online with vetted technology providers.
About the Author, Ted Dacko
Ted has over 42 years’ experience in executive-level management and leadership principally in the area of software applications and solutions. Ted was the CEO of HealthMedia Inc. which he took from being a small company to being a $30M in annual SaaS sales business. Ted has an extensive background with early stage tech companies. Prior to HealthMedia®, Ted served as President and CEO at Centromine, an Internet-based behavioral health firm, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Orion Micro Systems, which was based in Waterbury, Connecticut. He has also worked in larger organizations including Hyperion Software, Comshare and General Electric and has held a full range of positions across the company including software development, finance, client services, sales, marketing, strategy development, M&A and CEO. Ted has also authored a series of eBooks titled From Passion to Profit and often serves as a been the keynote speaker.