The more small businesses we meet with, the more we see the same problem, over and over, across all industries. It’s virtually an epidemic in the small business world. As a small business ourselves, we inevitably find ourselves facing this same issue, but we cannot overcome our business problems or grow in a sustainable, effective way without acknowledging the issue and taking steps to address it. The biggest issue we see in small business is a complete lack of understanding as to how and why a company should spend their hard-earned money on technology.
It may seem fairly obvious whether or not a small business is behaving this way, but our main finding is that businesses consciously decide to ignore the issue. Fully understanding how to invest in technology is too big of a problem and there is “never enough time” to create an intelligent, long term plan for how to achieve your business goals through tech.
Consider what the underlying issues are here. A small business is by definition short on resources. But instead of focusing on how to best utilize those resources through the most obvious lever within their business (technology) to create a sustainable system, they intentionally ignore the problem of dwindling resources and make highly impactful decisions that are based on a limited knowledge set.
Here are some of the key symptoms of the problem:
- Increase in employee count to cover up inefficiencies in technology
- No increase in wages because of lack of overall profitability
- Knee-jerk reactions to business problems in the form of discrete technology investments
- Low ROI on technology investments
- Uncertainty to the actual impact of investments
- Regression of productivity due to lack of continuity of discrete investments
- No connection of immediate fixes to long term strategy and business goals
- Anxiety towards modern technology
- Struggle to keep up with demand
- Dependency on a small customer base
- Struggle to generate profitable revenue
The consequence of all of these issues is one of two scenarios. The first is that leadership understands that they cannot continue to conduct business in this fashion if they want to succeed. They then scrap everything they have already invested in and begin again, investing twice as much as they should have if they had taken a long term, strategic approach from the beginning.
The second scenario is worse. A company continues to make unassisted, discrete technology investments, slowly decreasing their ability to keep up with demand. These small businesses end up capping their potential based on the limiting factors they have self-imposed on their own system. These small businesses rely on one or two main customers. They struggle to create meaningful revenue. They may even have a legitimately valuable product to society but have no real way to expose it because they have dug themselves into a hole that they have no idea how to get out of.
You may be a business leader that is fairly good with technology. You may be a business leader that is great with project management. But to effectively run your entire business profitably, to be effectively knowledgeable about modern technology and manage each technology project through the entire lifecycle, you will be much better served to hire an expert.
However, there is a solution. By outsourcing your technology to a leading Managed Services Provider that specializes in designing, optimizing and managing customized technology solutions, you could have the opportunity to create sustainable, healthy growth. You will rely on experts to help guide you to a reliable, profitable infrastructure so you can focus on the reason you started your business in the first place: your product or service.
If you are ready to consider a fresh approach to make your IT a high-performing asset for your business, consider the leading innovator in the Managed IT Services Provider space, Upward Technology.