Six Ways for SMBs to Optimize Technological Investments

When your business is on a limited budget, it's critical to optimize your tech investments. Here's how to do it.

Newsweek Expert Forum members share industry insights.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.

Technology has become an essential tool for conducting business across nearly every industry. However, tech solutions are not one-size-fits-all; leaders must be mindful of their company's needs rather than jumping on trends without consideration.

This is especially true for smaller businesses that are striving to make the most of their budgets. To that end, six members of Newsweek Expert Forum share their top insights on how small-to-medium sized enterprises can optimize their investment in technology. Follow their advice before you pull the trigger on your next business tech purchase.

1. Know How the Technology Will Be Used Within Your Organization

To optimize investment in new technology, it is important to first have a clear understanding of how the technology will be used in the organization and who will be using it. Once the strategy has been developed, it is important to invest in training for those using the technology so that everyone understands how the technology impacts their performance and the organization. - LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group

2. Conduct an Annual Tech Audit

Do an annual review with your team about which technology is essential and which technology could be removed or replaced. Thanks to highly personalized ads, your team will generally have ideas about what new tools can help them be more productive. - Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

3. Work With a Vendor-Agnostic Consultant

There are two approaches to take to best understand how to maximize impact and minimize the cost of tech for SMBs. One is to work with a vendor-agnostic consultant or broker to design thoughtful and effective systems for communication, project and financial management, as well as vHR and back-office functions. The other is to architect it yourself and negotiate prices directly with vendors. - Yuri Kruman, HR, Talent & Systems Consulting

4. Identify a Key Internal Stakeholder

Good technology saves time, money or frustration. Identify a key stakeholder whose role is to identify areas where one or a few of those things can be improved upon. Then task this person with evaluating and presenting new technology options to existing stakeholders to get buy-in. Once agreed upon, you have champions for technology investment and you have a clear measure of success. - Chloe Alpert, Medinas

5. Leverage Your Vendor Relationships

Leverage your partnership with vendors by asking for recommendations on how to improve results or efficiencies. The more they know about your business and your challenges, the more they can guide you in optimizing the technology. - Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO

6. Resist 'Shiny-Object Syndrome'

I know so many small business owners who have created a mess because they purchased whatever software seemed sexy at the time or solved an immediate issue. It's just so easy to buy SaaS products online today. Later, these same leaders realize they would have been better off with a more disciplined, strategic approach. - Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
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