Tech_Solutions_body.jpgBy Jennifer Shaheen.


In a recent study from the SMB Group, a technology industry research and analysis group, 42 percent of small business owners reported having difficulty figuring out how different technology solutions could help their business. When a business owner can’t see how they would benefit from a tool, they don’t use it. That means they’re often left working without solutions that can deliver greater efficiency, productivity, or even sales. To help ensure that you’re making smart technology decisions, consider using the ROAR method to discern the value that a new tech solution can bring to your business:


(R)esearch

If you’re curious about a new technological solution and what it actually does, go to that company’s website. Any tech worth having will explain its intended benefits in some detail. Language to look for: anything referencing increased productivity, the ability to have remote team members work together, and enhanced data security. Also, search out the brand on social media, and pay particular attention to user reviews. Insights from other small business owners can often articulate a technology product’s real benefits.


Tech_Solutions_PQ.jpg(O)bservation

The next step is to take an objective look at your business, particularly in the areas where the new technological solution purports to be of the most value. Compare your current performance with your benchmark goals. If there’s room for improvement, further inquiry into the new technology is warranted.


(A)nalysis

If it appears the new technology will meet a need your small business has, it’s time to run the numbers. Will the projected increase in efficiency, productivity, or new business more than offset the cost of acquiring and maintaining the new technology? Make sure to factor in the cost of training your team to use the new technology. As a best practice, use conservatively optimistic numbers when making these projections; colleagues or other business owners who are already using the tool may be your best source for this information.


(R)ule

The final step is to look at all the information you’ve gathered, about the needs the new technology is designed to meet, your own business’s performance in these areas, and the cost-effectiveness of the tool. Then, whether or not you choose to adopt the new technology solution, you can move forward in confidence that you’ve made a fully informed decision.

 

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