Making a choice is something we all do a million times a day. We decide to turn left out of our driveway, we decide what latte to order, we decide to pick the penny up off the floor. Seems simple enough. However, when it comes to purchasing, especially in the tech space, the decision get a little harder to make.
When we need something- anything- we have so many choices we probably don’t even have time to look at them all. We see this in every aspect of our lives. Our consumerism has created a flurry of products that come out seemingly every day. Each claims to be better than the last and to fill your every need and desire. This is true for every product and market niche from winter weather running pants to productivity apps for the workplace. How do you choose?
Decision makers for small business face this dilemma when it comes to nearly every aspect of their business. The technology you choose can have the biggest impact on your employees and the bottom line and tech is an especially crowded market. Decisions about software, laptops, internet connectivity, security, data storage, and so much more must be made. What’s best for your company? What are the consequences of a wrong choice? This is all weighing on your shoulders. So here is how you begin:
It can feel overwhelming to have so many choices for one decision. When you are making a large purchasing decision, there can be even more pressure to choose what is right for you and for your employees and at times, your customers. It won’t do you any good to dwell on the weight of the situation. Just breathe and know you will make it through.
- Identify the problem
If you are looking for a data storage solution, you are probably doing this to solve a problem you are experiencing. Identify the problem in full. The basics of the problem are important but what other implications are affecting your business? Uncover the entirety of the issue so you can find a complete and long-term solution.
- Narrow it down
If we look at productivity apps once again, we could probably find hundreds out there. Some are for the workplace, some are for students, some are basically list making tools, and other apps have features like music for focusing. It’s important to narrow your selection down to those few products that really fit your needs. Create a list with features the product must have to make the investment worthwhile for your company. In this example, you might have the criteria for the app to be for the workplace and a have music feature.
- Do your research
Yes, a good old internet search is a great way to become familiar with the big players in any category. You may even be able to find a site that compares and contrasts two similar products. Becoming more familiar with the products you are choosing between will also set your mind at ease because as they say, knowledge is power.
- Look at different perspectives
How will this tool impact your team? Your customers? Make sure you look at the entire impact that is possible while you are looking into your options. It might be a good idea to talk to your employees about what they need to be more efficient and factor this into your decision.
- Consider long-term costs
When investing in technology, the initial cost to purchase the hardware or software is usually not where the costs stop. With a device, maintenance and security measures must be paid for in the years to come. Some software systems have licensing costs that can come back around after a while.
- Know where you will compromise
With all of the choices out there, areas to compromise will still need to exist. Price is often the main factor in the need to compromise. With so many bells and whistles existing for many tech solutions, it can be easy to get distracted. Make sure you are compromising for the right reasons and that your operations won’t suffer.
- Bring in a consultant
When you are making a big decision about software, storage, security, hardware, or most any other tech related purchase, it can be a good idea to bring in a consultant. This individual can help you understand the features and benefits and how exactly they will affect the course your company plans on taking over the next several years. Finding a consultant who knows your industry intimately is even better.
- Pull the trigger
Eventually, you just have to do it. Make a decision and begin the implementation process. Sometimes this is what can cause the most anxiety, so refer back to number 1 if you need to.
- Review you decision
Although you might have thought you were done, it is important to make sure you are happy with your decision. Take a critical look at the solution you decided on and evaluate if it is performing above or below your expectations. A bad experience can have a lasting impact on your customers and can decrease productivity for your team. If the solution is not meeting your needs, look back to your research and pick a solution with the features that will work best for you.
GadellNet is an award-winning IT consulting firm that provides full-service technology solutions to small businesses. Since 2003, we have been delivering efficient, profitable and happier workforces. GadellNet’s best-in-class engineering team is highly successful at implementing and maintaining value-add hardware and software technology.