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Ahead of the Curve: 4 Ways to Be an Efficient Early Tech Adopter
  • 17 August 2017
  • Eric Michaels

Ahead of the Curve: 4 Ways to Be an Efficient Early Tech Adopter

As a small business owner, you may experience a wide variety of technology challenges in your day-to-day operations. Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a small staff of employees, the technology you invest in will likely have a direct, lasting impact on your company's overall efficiency and production volume. It would be nice, of course, if you were able to always purchase the latest software systems. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, you are likely working with a limited budget.

But by keeping your eye on industry shifts and striving to become an efficient early tech adopter, you may be able to land a great deal on the latest technology—before it goes big. Overall, you should be as strategic as possible when it comes to finding and implementing new products. Here are four ways to stay ahead of the curve as an early tech adopter.

1. Identify weak spots

As you likely have a limited budget, you should first determine whether or not there are funds that you can re-direct to other resources. If so, you may want to allocate what you can to new technology. You can then look for ways that technology can help you improve lagging areas of your business. For instance, if your team has trouble managing manual accounting entries, you may want to consider leveraging digital bookkeeping programs to make your life easier. The same principle applies if your organization is struggling in its marketing or payroll. As soon as you recognize any weak spot that can be effectively addressed by a technology investment, you may want to consider that as a wise purchase.

2. Act quickly

Even if you must pay a premium to obtain technology that meets your needs, you should consider the value to your long-term business plan. In other words, think of the penalties involved for not being an early adopter. If you want to stand out in your field, you must act quickly. Remember that any delay could result in employees having to wait to learn new skills, and competitors who’ve already adopted the technology potentially gaining an advantage. So instead of hesitating over a small sum of money, know when to pull the trigger.

3. Know when to say no

While being an early adopter of new technology allows you to gain a competitive advantage, it’s even more essential to be a wise adopter. Instead of being immediately tempted by the latest developments in your industry, consider the value of the product and any potential flaws it may have. Trust your instincts, and acknowledge when and how early adoption could go wrong. Rather than focusing on image and trends alone, you should strive to keep your company's bottom line in mind when assessing new technologies.

4. Stay informed

Staying informed can help you be more judicious in your choice of up-and-coming tech. If you follow the latest product from the start, you may have an indication of how successful it could be. Consider, for example, the early adopters of electric and hybrid vehicles—who benefited immensely from choosing this technology. When making these types of investment decisions, it’s also a good rule of thumb to consider the social and political implications. Ask yourself: How will this technology impact my community?

By being an efficient early tech adopter, you can reap a variety of long-term benefits. And while jumping in too soon comes with its share of risks, the benefits often outweigh the uncertainty, especially if you adopt new tech based on your growing business needs.

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