It’s always tempting to keep the tech you have, rather than making both yourself and your team learn brand new systems and computer programs. But, while old tech might be comfortable to keep using, you are short changing yourself and your business capabilities by sticking with only the tried and true, and not upgrading. You could be leaving both yourself and your clients at risk, and kneecapping your business capabilities in the marketplace. What sort of problems can you have, and why is running your business on old technology unacceptable?
The first concern you need to face is that using an older interface can keep you from being as secure, both in information and in monetary data. This leaves your customers insecure as well, and it only takes one breach to lose the confidence of those you depend upon for business. Upgrading to newer technology can help protect against the ever-changing cyber security issues which face businesspeople. Knowing that your, and your client’s, data is as secure as possible and has all current cyber security upgrades possible gives you peace of mind. Keep your data and money in your own accounts!
You don’t have to throw out everything you own if it’s working, naturally. But, the speed of the products you’re working with does impact your ability to do business. Whether it’s a computer with a full hard drive, or programs running slowly in the background, every one of those minutes lost represents money you could have had. A poorly designed website, for instance, can drive away consumers even during the best of sales. While having to micromanage a single worker who doesn’t quite do what he’s asked, or does it slowly, is frustrating, doing the same with software steals from your capability as a business owner.
Lost Work to Competitors
Anything from an old credit card machine that gets confused by modern chip-cards, or not having a mobile site for those on the go can prevent customers from knowing that you are, indeed, a person to be reckoned with. If you were to have two stalls side by side at a festival, for instance, and one business owner had the capability to take credit cards or venmo payments, and the other did not, which do you think would be more profitable? You want to make it easier to purchase your wares, regardless of what goods and services you sell, than your competition in your area. Ease of sales makes a massive amount of profitability.
Any time there is a decrease in your productivity, it’s your job to figure out why. Older technology, working on older systems, can prevent you from being able to build your business in a healthy manner. Accounting software helps you hit deadlines and prevent clients from getting left behind. When doing work online, having machinery with sufficient brainpower to match the brains behind the keyboard is important for both speed and capability as well. The slower the software and hardware, the less you can complete, and the more emotional toll and strain it takes upon the workers using the outdated systems.
Whether online or off, you want to make the purchasing process simple and smooth for your customers, but also for your team. No workers, regardless of how dedicated, want to work on outdated systems that frequently crash. Worse, if you have no IT contractor on site, a sitewide crash can prevent work for an entire afternoon. If this happens a couple of times a month, you have not only lost time, but can be bleeding money from both loss of customer time and from losing your worker’s ability to do their work. Everybody wants to be able to get things done on time…it’s up to you to make that possible.
When you run a small business, you might have been told that having a rental company is the best way to provide all the technology that you need. However, while that is the older form of providing for your business, it can cause complications. For example, you are at the mercy of when and where a rental company can provide assistance if there is a breakdown of products. However, with newer tech, you have the chance to use warranty repair from the companies from which you bought the technology and software. Your issues are covered quickly and often remotely, saving a lot of work lag time.
Businesses who had already moved their primary work and storage to the cloud or various cloud-based systems found themselves more easily capable of going remote in 2019 when the pandemic hit America. As more and more remote workers are finding their place in the marketplace, business owners are realizing that there might be workers across the country who are spectacular for a job in their remote offices. This gives you an edge, while helping employ those who might otherwise not be capable of physically being in the office, due to either distance or physical disability.
If your business has older technology, whether second hand monitors or ancient desktops running older OS, your client sees and makes a snap judgment about whether or not you are capable and efficient at the work that you do. Make sure that you put your first impression under a microscope. What do you see? If your tech is the equivalent of a pile of dusty old magazines and a tacky plastic potted plant in an office, it’s best to realize your brand image might be suffering.
If you’ve not done a software update in a while, or if your hardware needs speed in order to best serve your company, think ahead to use your tax write offs! As a small business owner, being able to do business at speed not only helps you, but also your community. As both are dedicated to growing and flourishing, finding the balance of updated older tech and new tech you need is critical.
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