Staying up to date with the latest technologies is a cornerstone of any successful enterprise. While larger firms have well-funded research, engineering and IT departments that are capable of producing or upgrading to new advancements, small businesses must act largely on their own to accomplish the same task.
However, regardless of the size of the company, it’s crucial that business owners remain flexible in any economic environment.
Technology enables companies to streamline their operations and adapt to the latest realities in the marketplace.
Here are four ways your business can successfully integrate these new technologies:
Onboard the latest requirements
It’s important to note that not all technologies are optional. For instance, regulatory and industry updates can alter how companies in certain sectors must conduct business. A prominent example of this is the mandated use of EMV-compliant terminals for all merchants by October 2015 — all businesses are required to have point-of-sale systems that align with the new EMV payment cards.
This update provides added credit card security for customers and makes businesses better able to stop data breaches from happening. To ensure your company is able to onboard new technologies, you must first ensure you’re compliant with the latest regulations.
Test early and often
Prior to rolling out a new software update or payment option, you’ll need to work out all the inefficiencies and potential flaws. Each successive technology is intended to make operations more efficient and customer interaction simpler.
However, if you don’t spend enough time working with a beta version of the technology, you can run into logistical headaches down the road, which can cause a loss of revenue. To overcome this challenge, it’s vital that you test any new updates several months before they go live.
Retrain staff members
All employees will likely have to be trained how to use new technologies. Whether it’s a revenue management system or a workflow tracking tool, these updates are only effective if they can be used in your business on a daily basis.
Set time aside to retrain staff members with hands-on, interactive education. Hold seminars, weekly meetings and recurring training sessions so everyone is on the same page. This strategy will help make the transition to a new technology painless and efficient.
Plan financially for adjustments
As is the case with any adjustment to operations, it’s necessary to make sure your business doesn’t lag in the process. Additional training will cause downtime and cost money. Likewise, to pay for these new technologies, a large deposit may be required.
However, by working with an alternative lender, your small business can adapt quickly to new technologies without breaking the budget. With small business loans for working capital, equipment financing or merchant services, you can maintain optimal cash flow at all times while still upgrading your business’ technology. This will help your company avoid any financial setbacks while successfully moving forward your plans for business growth.