Making the transition to new technologies can be a daunting task for small businesses. Many local entrepreneurs are reluctant to take the plunge into social media, the internet, and other new technologies to make their business more effective. And this could affect their profitability within the communities they serve.
This reluctance can be due to many factors, including fear of the unknown, lack of familiarity with the technology, or an unwillingness to invest the time and money necessary to make the transition. Despite these challenges, there are ways for small businesses to make the transition to new technologies with relative ease. Here are a few tips:
1) Start small
Don’t try to tackle all the new technologies at once. Start by experimenting with one or two, and then expand your use of technology from there. For example, you might start by establishing a presence on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Once you better understand these platforms and utilize them the best, you can decide if other online tools benefit your business.
2) Focus on what will improve your customer service
As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you already have a laundry list of things you would like to change about your business. When it comes to making the transition to new technologies, ask yourself what will help improve your customer service. The answer should reveal some online tools that might benefit you and your customers.
3) Prioritize your tasks
Many small businesses feel the need to handle every job when starting. As a result, business owners find themselves buried under a mountain of work and unable to keep up with their daily responsibilities. When transitioning to new technologies, prioritizing your tasks will help you accomplish more in less time. By focusing on the “big picture” tasks that need immediate attention, you can save time for the less pressing items.
4) Look into new technologies that can help you grow
There are plenty of new technologies out there that will not only make your life easier but also help you grow your business. For example, an automatic hot foil stamping machine is a simple tool that can significantly impact how your company presents itself to potential customers.
This is because the machine can create custom packaging for your business, which will help you stand out from the competition. Think about what you need to improve the growth of your business, and then explore the options that are available to you.
5) Consider hiring an outside party to help
If you are unfamiliar with or don’t have the time to transition to new technologies, consider asking someone else for help. A virtual assistant (VA) might be able to take care of many of your “grunt work” tasks, allowing you to focus on the big picture. If a VA isn’t an option for you, consider hiring a professional social media consultant or other outside parties who can help make the transition as painless as possible.
6) Keep your eye on the prize
Anytime you take on a new task or endeavor, it’s easy to get discouraged when you encounter bumps along the way. If you are attempting to transition to new technologies, don’t be disheartened when things aren’t always perfect. Instead, remember why you wanted to engage in these new practices in the first place. Maintaining a positive outlook can help decrease your stress and increase your motivation.
7) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are attempting to transition to new technologies but feel unsure about your ability, don’t be afraid to seek out help. Think about what you need assistance with, whether it’s learning more about a particular technology or having someone else take care of an element that is too overwhelming. The small business world is full of people or organizations that can offer assistance; you just need to know where to look.
8) Educate yourself on the tools available to you
Many new technologies are designed for easy use, but they still require some level of understanding before they can be implemented successfully. You can prepare yourself for making the transition to new technologies by educating yourself on the available tools. Read up on how they work and interact with each other, as well as how you can use them to improve your business processes.
9) Get everyone on board
Before you start implementing new technologies into your small business, consider what everyone else will need to do for it to be successful. If your staff has to learn new processes, you need to give them the time they need to do this. In some cases, you may even need to hire or train new employees for these changes.
Making the transition from old technologies and practices to newer ones can be difficult for many small businesses. However, if you take the time to plan, prepare yourself for challenges, and seek assistance when necessary, you should have no trouble accomplishing your goals.