Oftentimes people will try to sell you technology solutions. The best way to know if they will be helpful to you is to have a good understanding of your business processes. This means being able to explain to someone outside your business exactly what you do, at a deeper level than the pitch. It might time time to document them fully but understanding how your business ticks can save you from unhelpful technology purchases and help you focus your efforts. You want to look beyond your products and services, to how you deliver them. For example, if you sell hand made products online, when do you update your web site and from what device – computer or tablet? Do you take photos at client sites, e.g of a property or new swimming pool? Do you make appointments on the go? How do your staff know what appointments you have made? Do you work from the same location all the time or do you travel? What I recommend is that you write down each product and service that you provide or intend to provide on a page of paper or as headings in a document on your computer/ tablet.
Then for each, write down the steps you take to deliver it.
Review each of these and consider if your technology is working as well as it can for you or if something needs to change. If you don’t know what can be changed, then at least you are well prepared to answer your IT consultant’s questions about how you will use the program or device and ask him or her appropriate questions to determine if the proposed solution meets your needs. In the coming weeks, we will cover some techniques for looking at your business processes. If you are a visual learner, there are easy diagramming techniques which you may find helpful.