Building Technology Strategy for Small Businesses

With the introduction of the internet revolution, technology is no more a supportive function, rather it is now a catalyst for business growth in any sector and of any size. Small businesses in non-technology sectors, find it a daunting task to pronounce a Technology Strategy, instead, the majority of them do not even have it. Not only are these companies cash strapped, but they have also minimal or no internal capacities and restricted access to specialist guidance on technology. Not having a successful Technology Strategy can drain a corporation’s resources, push them behind the competition or they might even cease to exist. This report offers basic advice for small business owners on where to begin. Following are a few factors to take into consideration when creating an effective Technology Strategy.

Legal and Government Compliance

Planning for technology that keeps the business in government and legal compliance comes before anything else. Last thing a business wants is becoming distracting from core commerce and going bankrupt contesting litigations. By way of instance, a restaurant business should have technology intended for Sales Tax, PCI Compliance, and Employee Timesheets etc..

Core Business and Client Experience

Technology which facilitates core business and customer experience comes next. These are what directly generate revenue and these are the solutions what clients pay for. This is the place, a business must appropriately plan for and allocate funds for. By way of instance, for a restaurant business to be profitable, it has to have good technology set up to take clients’ orders, implementation in the kitchen and assistance. If the clients don’t get what they ordered or get too late, then it will influence the restaurant’s business. While providing free WiFi internet might help in enhancing customer experience.

Marketing and Digital Reputation

For a business to attract clients, not only it has to announce its presence to the customers but always make buzz to keep ahead of the competition. Effective marketing is a really critical element in any business’ success. In today’s internet savvy world, the majority of the clients research about any product or service on the internet before they purchase it. That makes having and keeping good digital standing on the internet very important for any business. This is exactly what a business must plan for following and allocate appropriate funds. By way of instance, a restaurant business may want a website informing customers about the restaurant and the menu. For marketing and digital standing it must create and actively maintain a presence on social programs such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp etc.. Using internet marketing over traditional marketing channels can be effective as they empower reaching larger audiences at the substantially lower price.

Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness

Next thing to consider is planning for technology related to enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness. Technology investments in operational efficiency can help reduce costs, cut-down waste and substantially enhance the bottom line. Wherever the savings realized through improved efficiency exceed the price of technology, it is well worth an investment. By way of instance, for a restaurant business having technology for material and inventory planning can considerably reduce inventory carrying cost and food spoilage, thereby directly adding to the sustainability.

Insource, Outsource, or the Cloud

As soon as you’ve figured out what you need, it is time to plan for how to get these abilities. Many non-technology small businesses have a minimum or no internal capacity and hiring employees for non-core business may burn holes in the pockets. Therefore, unless the business has existing workers who have technology skills, insourcing might not be a great strategy. The majority of the best technology, both platforms and applications are usually available on cloud now and has to be regarded as first preference. From small business’ perspective, Cloud isn’t merely cost-effective but also permits business to remain focused on its core strengths. Only if something isn’t available on outsourcing, cloud might be considered.

Data Strategy and Security

After having planned for what is need and how to get, it’s also important to study and strategy for data storage, retention and security plan. It’s important to get data storage in compliance with government laws for physical location, retention interval, encryption standards, utilization, and other aspects. Agreements with cloud service suppliers have to be assessed before making a decision to purchase their services. Cloud platforms normally come with best of breed security infrastructure. Having in-house data can add to security and security costs.

Finally, review regularly

Finally, always aim for regular review of the Technology Strategy to keep it aligned with business objectives and other aspects discussed above. Do not forget that legislation, technology, customer expectations, competitors and marketplace are constantly changing and so should your strategy to keep in alignment.