Q: Just when I think I have the latest tech tool, a newer, better one comes along. How can I keep up with technology without breaking the bank?
–J. Smith, Miami
A: You can’t. When it comes to technology, it doesn’t make sense to buy the latest handheld, PC, or software just because it’s new or because the manufacturer announces “improved” features. Doing so is a surefire way of quickly going out of business.
So what’s the secret to keeping pace without going broke? It’s simple: When purchasing any technology, consider not just the immediate but also the long-term needs of your business. If you have a brick-and-mortar company, for example, and your customer base is growing, consider purchasing hardware and software that will help you serve current and future customers—and allow you to seamlessly add employees. After all, you wouldn’t want to lose clients because your Website couldn’t handle the traffic, or hire a new employee but not have a PC for them to use.
You might consider using your business plan as a guide and look closely at what you need, not what’s new. Of course, there are times when the latest product is the greatest. But before you rush out and purchase those new cell phones for your sales staff, make sure you read product reviews (like those in BLACK ENTERPRISE), request a demo from the company, and hit the store to do your own hands-on tests.