Shiny object syndrome is an epidemic among entrepreneurs looking to improve productivity and efficiency.
Introducing new software to help make a system or process more efficient and automated is almost always a good idea, right?
Unfortunately, when growing your small business from scratch, constantly introducing new platforms can slow you down instead of increasing your productivity. This is especially true if you're working with a team.
So, how do you know when it's the right time to introduce a new platform? How can you ensure that the software solutions you choose for your business lead to increased efficiency and not more significant headaches?
You need to ensure that your team will actually use the new app, that it will save a remarkable amount of time, and that it's scalable!
Will People Use It?
Change is difficult to implement in businesses as they grow.
It's a well-documented phenomenon with many intelligent people working to educate leaders on managing change.
When building incredible systems and processes in your business, you must educate your team members about why you do things a certain way. Helping people understand the "Why" behind a process allows them to connect significance to that way of operating and fully get behind doing things that way.
Educating "Why" is equally important when implementing any change.
Human beings are phenomenal at meticulously executing something. Once we get good at doing a task in a certain way, it can be incredibly difficult to change how we do something.
This is primarily due to the way our brain is wired. Our brain's neuroplasticity determines how well we learn and adapt to new things. As we repeatedly complete tasks in a specific format, our brain gets used to approaching a task in a certain way.
When leaders introduce new software platforms or systems in general into a business, we ask the brain to operate differently than before, which is extremely difficult.
Educating our team on why we do something allows us to make a logical connection as to why we're transitioning to a new way of doing things. With consistent reminders and encouragement, these changes can be effective.
Will It Save You Time?
Many workers are concerned about automation and technology completely replacing their jobs.
However, most small businesses are filled with a wide range of tasks: from extremely simple 5-minute jobs to complex procedures that require a full day's focus. Most jobs within a small business are made up of a blend of these kinds of tasks, both small and large.
The fact is that most value within a small business is driven by accomplishing complex tasks.
The problem is that employees and founders get bogged down by the numerous little things they need to accomplish throughout the day.
The small tasks that rule your day-to-day detract from getting more meaningful work done.
This is where new technology and automation can seriously benefit your business, cutting down menial tasks and freeing up time.
This is an easily quantifiable exchange, as well. You can start by calculating the amount of time you spend on tasks you're hoping to automate or make more efficient using a new app.
Most people take a wage that's derived from an hourly rate. By analyzing the amount of time that you're taking back with a new software solution, you can then calculate the amount of money you'll be saving as well.
Will It Scale With Your Business?
There's a big difference between growth and scale.
Growth is often thought of in linear terms: we add new team members, and our productivity increases accordingly.
Scale, on the other hand, is when your business experiences a substantial increase in something without an increase in resources. For example, your productivity increases, but your team headcount remains the same.
In a small business, it's common to find yourself doing something that doesn't scale. Whether you're writing handwritten "Thank You" notes to customers or the CEO is personally creating relationships with every vendor, small businesses are often not built with scale in mind.
Here's the truth: not everything has to or should scale.
Some things, like handwritten notes, are meaningful marks of your small business that take time and effort - there's no changing that.
However, software solutions that are meant to increase your productivity should be able to scale with your business. An excellent technological solution is one that you can put into place that does not need to change to drive more results.
An excellent example of this is productivity software. When introducing task lists, kanban boards, or calendars for your team to manage their workflows, the last thing you want to do is have to purchase another add-on to your existing software for it to work as your demands grow. Instead, it's preferable to have a system that can readily expand and adjust to your team without requiring additional attention.
Software Can Help, But It's Not a Savior
Technology is incredibly helpful for small business owners.
It makes us more efficient and effective; it allows us to provide more value to others than ever.
For a small business, it's very rarely the software itself that creates that value. Instead, it's the team using it. You can have the most effective and efficient technological system in the world, but without a team that knows how to wield it, all is lost.
Amarlo helps small business owners introduce new systems and automation to make things like accounting and bookkeeping less of a headache. Your financial processes are just as important as your day-to-day operations and can significantly impact your business!