"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."
Terry Pratchet, Diggers
Business owners the world over seem to have the same problem; I need to use technology to develop the business, but how do I know it's the right technology and how do I de-risk spending my hard-earned cash.
A lot of technology terminology gets thrown around; technology development, building systems, data collection, data management, source code, and the list goes on.
So, how do we de-risk this whole process?
It may sound simple, but many people don't like doing homework or don't understand what they need to be researching to make the right business decision. It should be clear in any business what the business does and how it helps potential customers solve a need or problem.
The three vital steps are:
Once you have the answers, you can start doing some research and understand how much time, energy and money you spend to acquire and look after your clients.
It is a critical error for many business owners to focus on one OR the other. If you focus on profit all the time, you tend to focus on money; the costs and sales. If you focus just on growth, then you may not be able to afford what your growth goals are. It would be best if you had a combination of the two. Understanding how to grow safely and profitably will ensure years of business success. Businesses use technology to make these two metrics transparent within the organisation. Understanding how you're likely to grow and be profitable will determine what technology you will need to implement.
Too many business owners have too few or too many items on their wish list. So, what is a good number? It is a good idea to list as many ideas as possible. Then ask yourself, “what aligns with the business goals?” Create a shortlist and then number them in what is most important to the least important. It will give you a high-level view of what will be essential or not when growing the business. The critical aspect of technology, though, is that if a technology partner understands the potential or growth of the company, they are likely to plan for the future. Planning for the future will inevitably save you time and money and will allow you to get to your goals quicker.
BlueSky have identified three areas: Do your homework, Identify Profit & Growth and create your ultimate wish list.
It becomes easier to understand what the role of a technology partner will do. If they know who your target audience is, how much money you'll likely make and what the ultimate goals of the business are, then you'll be in a position to make a good decision regarding technology requirements.
One of the critical elements of developing software is ‘who owns the source code'. The source code is the underlying code of your technology. The client must have access to the source code. If the technology company is no longer in existence, you go to another company and give them the source code to develop further.
The advantage of a team of developers is that you have access to a range of people with various skills to create your product. An individual programmer may have skills, but you are putting your business and your technology at a higher risk.
BlueSky understands that technology moves at the ‘speed of light'. What you feel is excellent today is obsolete within two years, so it seems, but that's why it is crucial to develop a relationship with a technology partner to create a long-term advantage for your business. I know at BlueSky in Perth, Western Australia, we develop partnerships with our clients long-term. It's the only way we can create efficiencies within our business and reduce costs for your business.
We understood that if we can provide a team of developers, UX and design, all working for you and the success of your business, BlueSky can deliver high-quality products and services at a cost less than employing a full-time individual I.T. person.
Do your homework, identify profit & growth, create your ultimate wish list. The benefits will be a long-term strategy and reduced costs. Align the business with a quality technology company that has a team of people all working for your business success, ultimately creating a competitive advantage in the market.