If you’re a small to medium sized business and technology is one of those things that you’ve not got involved with much, there will be all kinds of reasons why that’s been the case. It could be due to the fact there’s a perceived high cost to new technology; that you’ve not yet been able to identify any real benefit; that the new system will create more short-term issues for you as the system appears to disrupt what you’re doing now; that you or your staff have a general dislike for change or anything new; or that you are just unsure where to go to get the system you feel you would benefit from most.
All these views are perfectly reasonable and put quite frankly, we’ve come across them all at one time or another. But I’m fairly sure we can help you overcome them with one simple statement. You see the day you set up your business, was the day that you decided to take market share away from your competition. If you fail to do that for too long, the risk to your business will only increase, and you’ll be left asking yourself why you didn’t make the move earlier. So, if you’ll permit me to go over the individual points above, you’ll soon see there’s never been a better time than now to make that move.
Price – We’ve always been firm believers that it’s not what you pay, it’s the benefit you receive that count. If you can do that, then the cost is immaterial. Regardless of whether it’s a pair of shoes you’re purchasing or improvements to your information systems, it’s the returns that count. However, the difference with investing in your own technology, is that it can have a significant effect on the quality of the shoes that your competitors will wear! Yes, that’s right, the insights you’ll glean about your customers behaviour can be really quite liberating because it gives you back some control over your casual marketing expenditure! The other aspect that’s worth noting, is that we’re so confident that investing in a new system will deliver plenty of additional benefits, we’ll even spread the payments for SME’s for up to twelve months. A kind of ‘Pay as you Go’ solution that should give you increased confidence.
Benefits – Systems that don’t provide benefits aren’t investments in any way not because they don’t function as the vendors claim (because they do), but because the operators of these systems generally don’t know how to extract the value from them, something we’ve seen first-hand. So, if you’re unsure what it is you want we’d advise you NOT to buy an off-the-shelf product. This is because, unless you’re invested in the process you’ll never have that level of engagement with the system. This is another area that we can help you with because we’ll talk to you about the things you want to glean from the data, you know, those questions that you ask of your teams, that no one within your organisation can provide a prompt response to. Then we’ll ask some questions of our own that are aimed at teasing out the answers to the, “What if”, “Why does” and “How many”. Once we’ve had this conversation, we’re sure you’ll see the benefits.
Issues – It’s true, there are those who won’t introduce new systems because they could disrupt current working practices. But what’s the real value to any working practice that’s not bringing the results you’re paying for? Isn’t a little bit of pain now, worth the trouble it takes, if the system proves to be able to answer the questions you ask constantly? Isn’t it likely that the answers are already there in your current systems, but there just not designed in such a way to let you get to them? The good thing about the way this can work is that the build of any new system can happen on a separate platform away from your day-to-day working practices. When you’re ready, we’ll make the system available for you and your teams to test its functionality, perhaps even coinciding with other software licences being up for renewal. If you really want to find reasons, we know clients that have, but just ask yourself, as we do, where will these people be in five years’ time?
Change – Everyone one of us are generally more accustomed to being creatures of habit, we eat the same food, shop at the same stores, use the same toothpaste, drive the same brands of car, even go on the same holiday (when permitted to do so) and in business, most employees become comfortable with the same way of working, day-in, day-out (see https://genesisdm.co.uk/the-genesis-cup/), but working in this manner is counterproductive. Businesses are driven to invest, adapt and improve, that’s why competition is so valuable. In nature, the weakest fall prey to those who desire survival and the same is true in business.
Uncertainty – If you’re an SME and this blog has given you sufficient reason to make some changes to the technology that you use, then great you’ve already decided where you want to be in five years’ time. All we ask now, is that you take some time to appreciate the difference between going with an out of the box ‘solution’ or one that’s designed and built for your business alone. If you’d like to learn more about such a decision, we’ve written an overview called, ‘Five Features of a Custom System – Strategic Competitive Advantage’ (https://genesisdm.co.uk/services/technology-implementation/audit/).
You can see examples of some of the systems we’ve helped develop here https://genesisdm.co.uk/services/technology-implementation/.
Should you like to speak with us about anything that this blog has highlighted, you can book a diary slot at a time to suit you. Please visit the ‘Services’ page on our website to book https://genesisdm.co.uk/services/.
Nigel Davis was voted ‘One of Britain’s Top 50 Small Business Consultants’ & is both a Fellow of the CIM, and a Chartered Marketer and an Ambassador for private equity & exit planning