Many small businesses start with any technology or systems they can find with a quick Google search that are free or very low cost.
This isn’t a bad thing, and I commend business owners who take the time to implement any systems at all – far too many are running completely manually!
At some point in the journey, free technologies are no longer serving us or the business and we have to start looking at other options.
It’s important to find technology that will serve your business for at least two or three years and not just in the short term.
But finding the right technology for your business that can deliver all the things that you need for at least two or three years is not an easy task.
Trust me, I have spent years and years doing just that!
One aspect of technology should be to ensure it’s allowing flexibility and not trap you without any options.
Building a technology stack that can be changed, one part removed or replaced with a better one is often more cost-effective, efficient, and less painful than having to accept that a system is “too industry-specific” so it can’t do all the things wanted or needed.
Plenty of technology grows with you as your business grows.
Find tech that offers either unlimited users or give a reasonable number of users even on the lower packages.
Start on lower packages or with limited features and upgrade when you get to the next level in your business. Any tech that has these options are great to consider for the long-term and are the ones to focus on.
Often enough, the daily tasks done in businesses are taking up time because they are done manually.
We underestimate how small little things can add up eating away our days:
- Finding that template to send it with a link or attachment you stored somewhere,
- Having to remember to give someone a call to book their next appointment when that is coming up,
- Sending a follow-up to a lead or prospect,
- Booking appointments and sending more information based on what was booked,
- Adding data in multiple places of the business.
There are very simple ways to automate some of these tasks so you have more time to focus on the important work and investing in technology is more affordable than hiring.
Hiring will be needed when you have more clients that need your services and personal touch and not to do “admin”.
If the thought of setting up automations makes you sweat (despite knowing how they can help you and your team spending more time with clients!), you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, if you stick your head in the sand or hope for someone to just build the perfect solution that you can just plug and play, it won’t get better.
Automation doesn’t need to be complex or complicated but can make a difference.
Starting with an email campaign or automating your booking system by sending data into your CRM can save you valuable time.
Some technologies even offer template automations that you can customise to your needs and start using quickly and easily.
It can be that one system works for one business but doesn’t work for another. Looking at all aspects of different systems is really important.
No matter how you approach technology and automation will make a difference in how your business is performing and is definitely better than not using any tools.
Pam Doerf is an expert in building strong operational foundations for businesses running remotely. Over the years she has worn many hats and has worked in many different contexts to gain a skill set that can be applied to many areas of business and life.
Pam found her passion in Operations and automating businesses using technology. It’s her greatest satisfaction to see when automation can improve a process, or even a whole business!
Pam has run multiple businesses and built remote teams for over seven years. She has over 20 years of experience in tourism, hospitality, and finance.
Pam is a genius of efficiency, mastering the art of minimising the input and maximising the output of a team by using technology, systems, and processes, and driving remote work in industries where spending 9-5 at the office is the norm.
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