We use technology for a huge variety of tasks in our lives – it has crept into our everyday routines and is here to stay. On a personal level we are embracing new technology in our phones, TV’s, cars, ovens and fridges. Cloud technology, and wearables like FitBit and Apple Watches are becoming part of the norm. So why are we so afraid to adopt new business technology? See below how you can build a technology checklist to get you started.
Technology isn’t part of my start-up costs, it’s a luxury expense that “I’ll get around to once I start making money”.
The fact is, technology is a part of your start-up costs. Embracing cloud technology will make you more efficient, give you a broader reach to your customers and completely transform the way you do business.
Technology is so expensive, all I need is a website and my mobile phone to reach my customers.
Poorly implemented technology solutions are what cost businesses in the medium to long term. Simply purchasing a domain and some web hosting, slapping a website together and using an “@hotmail.com” address to contact them is not enough. The engagement levels with your customers will be low from the start, and you won’t even realise as you are not equipped to collect or analyse this information.
So what should I do?
The single most important thing is planning. Take the time to plan out what you are selling, who your customers are, how you are going to reach them, the size of your business and its projected growth. Once you have a plan it’s time to talk to some technology partners about it (you can find them easily online). You can gain some free advice and see if you need to make any changes. Some things to consider for a technology checklist are:
- A domain name (for your website and emails)
- Web hosting (for your website ONLY)
- A web designer and/or integrator (to facilitate your website build)
- Emails (using your domain name, and a service with spam filtering & protection)
- File Storage and backup (unless you have massive amounts of data, this should go straight to a secure cloud location)
- Security of all of the above (you need to consider things like SSL certificates if you are selling products or collecting personal information via your website)
There is a lot to think about, but it is important that you understand why you need the above, and any other services your technology partner is recommending. It’s a good rule of thumb, that if a technology partner can’t explain to you why you need something – you probably don’t need it.