Home | Contact | Advertising
Small Business, Information, Resources, Articles - SmartBiz.com
Members Login:
Sign Up Forgot?
SALES & MARKETING
Marketing Online
Email Marketing
Search Marketing
Selling
PR
ONLINE BUSINESS
E-Commerce
Website Creation
Productivity
Accounting
CRM
Web-based Software/SaaS
BUSINESS STRATEGIES
Case Studies
Smart Answers
Videos
Podcasts
Smart Blog
Human Resources
Management
BITS & BYTES
PCs & Online Equipment
Mobile Computing
Security/Business Continuity
Telecom/Office Networks
Small Business Products
FORUMS & RESOURCES
Free White Papers
Tools and Calculators
SmartBiz Forum
Legal & Business Forms
News Feeds
Featured Webcasts & Videos
Franchise Offers


 
SMALL BUSINESS AND STARTUPS INTERNET TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
Search SmartBiz:
Forms and
Downloads
Free
White Papers
Special
Offers
SmartBiz
Blog
Free Email
Newsletters
Management
Tech Questions Small Businesses Should Ask
Email ArticleEmail Article
Print ArticlePrint Article
Increase Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Decrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size
Del.icio.us
Digg This
Bookmark and Share

By Gene Marks

You don’t have a lot of technology resources inside your company. In fact, just getting your office printer to work all the time seems like a monumental challenge. Investing in technology, whether it’s new software or hardware means dealing with a lot of stuff that just may not work like you expected. But it’s the twenty-first century, and the days of index cards, one-write systems and 2 martini lunches are long gone. You need technology to get things done. So before investing in the greatest-and-greatest-whiz-bang-gotta-have gadget that promises to turn your entire business into a financial powerhouse, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

1. Who makes it? If your business is going to significantly rely on a new inventory management system then you better find out everything you can about who made the system. Where are they located? How long have they been around? Are they financially strong? Will they be around next year? Great technology has great companies behind them. You’re going to find yourself with a new partner, and like any new partner you’ll want to make sure to do as much research about them as possible.

2. Who supports it? You know by now that something WILL go wrong. Something that worked fine yesterday will, for no reason at all, stop working today. And right in the middle of trying to get something out the door too! Who will you call? The vendor? A Partner? Ghostbusters? Make sure you know who’s going to help you with all the inevitable problems before they occur. Find out how quickly they provide their service. Even if they promise a “24/7 response” give them a buzz at 7PM one evening before you buy just to see if anyone answers the phone. All technology needs support. This stuff just doesn’t work all the time.

3. What are all the costs? That new order entry application may only cost a few thousand dollars. But what about the annual maintenance and support? How about training, customization, technical questions, installation? Don’t be surprised if all of this stuff is extra. Get all the costs upfront, including what you’ll be required to spend on an annual basis.

4. What other technology is required to make it work? If you’re buying software what hardware is required? If you’re buying hardware what software is required? Microsoft’s new customer relationship management software application requires so much additional Microsoft software (i.e. Windows, SQL Server, etc.) that you may spend more on the additional software then the actual product! Know it all before you buy.

5. What services are required to make it work? Wouldn’t it be great to just plug it in a like a TV? Or click on setup.exe and everything installs itself? Dream on! How else can technology consultants like ourselves justify our existence without convoluted and overly complex tools that requires black box knowledge and other specialized expertise that only a “certified partner” can bring? Find out how much time will be needed by outsiders to get your application or equipment running the right way. Sure, you can do it yourself. But you still haven’t finished painting the kids playroom yet so how are you going to finish this?

| 1 | 2 | Next page »
Gene Marks owns The Marks Group, PC.
Add a Comment View Comments
Small Business Home

SmartBiz Shop
Promotional Items with Your logo
 
     
 
Smart Services
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Spacer
Add Your Logo Now
Spacer
Get Your Business Online
Build a Website Host Your Website Market Your Business Online
Business Form Downloads
Legal Forms Business Forms
Smart Forums
Recent Postings
Stimulus or "Pork"ulus?
Blog: How Do You Know What Insurance Is Right for Your Business?
If Layoffs Are Necessary, Protect Your Business
Blog - Do You Have Email and Internet Usage Policies in Place?
MORE
Home | Contact | Advertising
© 2017-2019 SmartBiz. All rights reserved. Privacy Statement and Terms of Service
Small Business Home | Business Tools | Online Business | Bits & Bytes | Sales & Marketing | Business Strategies | Forums & Resources
Email Marketing & HTML Email Driven By: Hosted By:   Design By:
Email Marketing
 
XML LogoRSS Logo
Receive our stories via SmartBiz XML/RSS feeds.
Include our stories on your website through SmartBiz javascript content feeds.