5 Questions to ask yourself when adding new technology to your business
Many painting business owners have plenty to do just to keep their operations running smoothly on any given day. At the same time, they can also be tempted by advertisements and solicitations about technology solutions that claim to simplify operations. Through trial and error, many business owners learn which solutions are right for them and which ones are not.
Tom Droste is the cofounder of Estimate Rocket, an estimating and CRM (customer relationship management) software that many painting contractors use. Droste says when it comes to choosing any technology tool, a business owner should take the time to ask a lot of questions. Here are some critical ones to consider:
Question #1: What percentage of my business will this technology affect?
Some solution messaging sounds like the technology tool will run the business for you, but then when you drill down into the details it only affects a small segment of your operation or jobs and may not offer the cost-benefit trade you’re looking for.
Question #2: What aspect of my business will this technology benefit and how?
The solution should either improve productivity, sales, reduce costs or increase customer satisfaction. A technology tool may not hit on every single one of those elements, but if it can cover a couple of them, it may be worth further investigation, Droste said.
Question #3: Will the technology make my employees happy?
Not all technology solutions need to be enterprise changers. Sometimes, simple apps that allow crews to communicate easily can greatly improve operations. Happy customers, happy employees, sales improvements … these things all go hand in hand. And you can’t overlook the fact that a motivated, satisfied employee will undoubtedly engage better with customers. “It’s important to remember that some of the lowest-impact changes can make a huge impact on a team,” Droste added.
Question #4: Who’s in charge?
Once you know which area of your operation will use the technology the most, it’s important to ask yourself who will be implementing the change. Is it an accounting solution? Is it an operations solution? How will these solutions interact with one another and who will quarterback the implementation effort? All of this affects employee buy-in, too, which is critical to a technology succeeding in a business. “If you can engage the employees up front, they can feel involved and they’ll at least give it a shot instead of bucking you along the way,” Droste noted.
Question #5: How did it go?
After a new technology is implemented, it’s important to reflect on the experience. Did it deliver as promised? Is it a keeper? What could have been done to better implement it? “That’s something people sometimes overlook. You always want to assess and ask ‘what would I do differently next time?’” Droste added.
To learn more about ways to integrate technology solutions into your painting business, visit inpaintmag.com