Tech use in business

As business owners, especially of SMEs, your sole interest in technology must be to focus on how it can practically help you achieve your business goals quicker, smarter and more profitably. Picture SUPPLIED

Last week I looked at expansion and growth. A big thank you to those who gave me feedback on their experiences.

I want to share one piece of feedback from an entrepreneur and coach in Vanuatu: “Thank you for the latest article in the current series about Expansion and Growth. I personally think that it is good to plan to expand but It does not mean to be in the rush to grow the business. For the new business, it is better to develop and strongly make a good preparation for the business foundation for at least a minimum of five years while planning the next step to grow or move to it. For the new business, I strongly recommend that the entrepreneur must work very hard in the beginning to better prepare the start and have a good vision for the destination of the business before the entrepreneur can work smarter to make less expenses and gain more profit in its business. There’s a phrase saying ‘the business that is properly prepared is the business likely to be successful’ and I really believe in that. For the existing business, I suggest that the entrepreneur should expand or move to the next level and I strongly recommend them to adapt with the modern technology tools. There are many reasons but one of the most important is that the online services will save time and money and it is a very fast delivery service”.

Today my focus is on technology. The Collins English Dictionary describes technology as referring to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes, especially in industry.

Technology itself is far from new although today the rapid changes in computer led technological advances do focus the mind somewhat and sometimes, it is easy to forget about less glamorous and more simple technologies that have been around a long time.

The key words in the above definition are “for practical purposes”. As business owners, especially of SMEs, your sole interest in technology must be to focus on how it can practically help you achieve your business goals quicker, smarter and more profitably.

There are a number of challenges to consider. Where do you start – there are a mind-numbing array of technological developments that all claim to be able to help you take your businesses to the next level.

Talk to other people, especially to other business owners; attend networking functions with your local business group or chamber of commerce; keep an eye out for seminars or workshops on specific technological developments; read articles in the press or online.

Whatever you do, do not bury your head in the sand – there is likely to be some technology out there that will be of great benefit to your business.

You will only find it by actively looking. Technology belongs to younger people – I won’t understand it. Nonsense!

As the old saying goes, if we think we can do something or think we can’t do something we will be right.

The key is to keep your focus on your business goal, on the reason you are in business and let that dictate what technologies you should or should not explore.

Take care not to be limited by your own mindsets. New technologies are bound to be expensive! Some technologies certainly are expensive but there are plenty that aren’t.

If you want to invest in a new piece of software for example, talk to others, see what offers are available to small businesses, is it possible to share costs with others, can you invest in stages, are there cheaper alternatives on the market that will do the job just as well?

Planning before action. Investing in new technology needs to be part of a robust planning process.

In previous articles I have talked about planning as being the way to do business – an ongoing process of exploration and discovery.

If you invest in costly new technology without proper robust planning, then you only have yourselves to blame if something goes wrong or if the technology does not turn out to be as useful as you had hoped.  New technologies are business tools and not all tools do all jobs – you want the right tools in your toolbox that will help you achieve your goals and, when you get them, you need to know how to use them.

If you need help with your own technological plans or you want some feedback on your own practices, then please get in touch.

I am coming near the end of this series and next week my focus will be on exporting. I will also cover resilience and more on working with driends and families before I close.

I hope you are enjoying this series and thank you for your feedback.

Breadfruit Consulting ( is a Vanuatu-based business. Contact or hazel@breadfruit

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