In my opinion, technology is the driving force behind the burgeoning small business market. Technology levels the playing field and allows small businesses to do business anywhere in the world from anywhere they choose. As technology continues to advance, small companies are enjoying the benefits of increased productivity and profitability.

Every small business owner needs to embrace technology in every aspect of their business, from things such as accounting and data management to marketing and sales support. If you aren’t familiar with all the technology-based tools available for your business, then I recommend working with an IT consultant who can help you select appropriate hardware and software to fit your business needs.   Don’t get caught up in the sizzle.  Always find solutions that work for you.

Here are few recommendations to help you make smart technology choices.

*Create a Technology Vision.  You need a technology plan for your business, and a professional consultant can help you develop that. A technology plan prevents you from making the mistake of jumping from one system or application to another, which isn’t time-efficient and can be costly. A technology vision helps make choices that will be appropriate for your business now, and will also grow with your business.

*Buy the Best Fit.  Small business owners often get caught up in the glitzy aspects of technologies, and as a result, they buy more than they need. Purchasing the latest and greatest not only results in unused capacity but also the technology investment may wind up not getting used at all because it is too complicated. So make a list of what your business needs are and make an investment in technology that satisfies those needs.

*Establish a Budget.  Just as with any other area of your business, you need to establish a technology budget. An IT professional can help you determine the appropriate amount you should allocate in order to meet your objectives. Without an established budget, you may find yourself our of funds before you’ve been able to purchase everything you need.

*Get Training.  Technology isn’t worth a dime if you don’t use it. Invest in the proper training for you and your team. Often the vendor will offer to train you for no additional cost. Take advantage of this opportunity and carve the time out of your schedule so you can utilize your investment. Remember, the technology is there to help you become more productivity and profitable.

AvatarSusan Solovic

Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and contributor to ABC News and other outlets, public speaker and attorney.