‘Myths which are believed in tend to come true.’ – George Orwell.
Most myths about technology are harmless, nonsensical and easily debunked. But other, less out-there myths are pervasive – especially in the world of small business.
Here are 4 common myths and assumptions about small business IT that, if believed, will hold your business back.
1. The best technology is the most expensive
People often think that the more expensive something is, the better it must be. Expensive wine, expensive shoes, expensive homes: if something is expensive, we think it’s twice as good as it’s cheaper alternatives – or so says psychologist Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School.
In the business world, many people think the same about IT. There’s a perception that the most powerful, cutting-edge technology is expensive (because of its complexity and potentially high start-up costs) and therefore superior to cheaper options on the market.
This is wrong.
As KMPG explain, the new generation of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings on the market give small businesses the ability to access powerful, enterprise-grade technology at an affordable price point. How? By eliminating costs associated with on-premise infrastructure, license fees and more.
The cloud has also made it easier for small businesses to access top-of-the-line tech for less than they’d expect. Cloud-based apps and tools for productivity, communication and collaboration are extremely cost-effective – Office 365 Business, for example, starts at only £7.90 per user per month.
The bottom line: when it comes to your IT, expensive is not always better.
2. Technology is the responsibility of the IT team
Your IT has a direct impact on your productivity, efficiency, profitability, sales and marketing, customer service, company morale and just about everything else. That makes it a business imperative, not an issue for your IT person to solve alone.
As a small business owner, you need to take ownership of your company’s IT. You have to make sure you’ve got the right tools and software to deliver your products and services, keep employees productive and grow your business. If you’re not sure where to start, complete an IT audit and enlist the help of a technology partner like Axon.
3. Enterprise technology is for big companies, not small businesses
Things like business intelligence tools, customer relationship management (CRM) software and even inventory management tools are often thought of as ‘unnecessary’ for small businesses. Those are for big, complicated corporations, right?
Every business can benefit from better customer insights, analytics and business intelligence. And small businesses are already using ‘enterprise’ tools like CRM; a recent study of more than 300 small businesses in the UK found that:
● 66 per cent of SMBs are already using technology tools for employee collaboration;
● 64 per cent are using CRM;
● 51 per cent perform form of business analytics; and
● 50 per cent of small businesses have ecommerce capability, including online order taking and billing.
4. IT is an overhead, not a source of competitive advantage
When it comes to running any business, you have to spend money to make money. But here’s the thing: investing in IT is a good move. Why? Because IT can be a source of competitive advantage.
● Build stronger customer relationships and grow customer loyalty, making it harder for your competitors to win them over;
● Allow your employees to work on-the-go on their mobile devices, so they can be productive wherever they are; and
● Analyse your data to find out which products or services are your most profitable, which is a valuable insight for sales and marketing.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you’ve invested in the right technology, you’re like an Olympic athlete with the best gear and a team of highly-trained coaches: hard to beat.
The truth is hard to ignore
Technology is important for every business, big or small. Remember:
● The best tech is not the most expensive tech;
● Technology is a business imperative, not an isolated issue for your IT person;
● Even small businesses can use ‘enterprise grade’ tools; and
● Your IT is your source of competitive advantage.
Ready to grow your business? Get started today and download our guide to transforming your IT from overhead to competitive advantage.