In 2014, Aussie SMEs spent on average $4300 on software* (that’s a lot of coffee). In an ever growing society of tech-savvy humans, like you and I, the businesses that implement and embrace technology succeed in generating increased revenue, productivity, exposure and have an overall advantage to their competition who are stuck in the 80’s.
Deciding what to use, what to purchase and when can be quite daunting when you’re an SME, and potentially expensive if you don’t make the right choice. If you’re an SME looking to dive into the melting pot of technology, put your flippers on and have a read of the following before you make a lucky dip purchase that could ultimately cost you both in time and money.
Do your research
Have a proper search of all the options available, speak to people and don’t be afraid to inquire about products that you’re looking into. Take your time with your search to ensure you don’t miss anything. If any providers offer a free trial take full advantage of it, as sometimes you don’t know what a product is really like until you use it.
Consider all cost factors
When looking for technology, think of all the costs associated with it:
- Are there costs such as setup, installation, training and support?
- Do they have monthly plans or is it all upfront?
- Are you paying for features that you simply will not use?
- If you choose not to invest, how will that cost your business in the long run?
- Will it hinder your success and potential growth?
Desktop vs laptop/tablet
Consider which one is better for your business based on where will you be working. If you have a job that’s office based, you may like a desktop computer. However, with more and more businesses being mobile and less office based, a laptop might be better for flexibility. Tablets are also becoming important in business, offering a lightweight easy to use option great for on the go business.
Installed vs online software
There is an increase in software that you can now access online rather than traditional server-based software. The benefits of an online program are plenty, with no costs for installation on multiple workstations, no time wasted installing software updates and no access issues if you need to access the software when away from your desk.
Depending on the online software provider, you can pay month to month, have unlimited users and login to access your work wherever you have an internet connection. It pays to do your research before buying products with all the bells, whistles, steak knives and the kitchen sink that your business may not use.
* Sensis eBusiness report 2014