"Ninety percent of small business owners," says Phillip Djwa, "are not technology innovators or early adopters, so using new technologies can provide a significant competitive advantage." He offers five strategies to ensure that the famous Wanamaker quote ("I know that half of my technology does not help my business. I just don't know which half it is.") does not apply.
- Give yourself the time to focus on the aspects of your business that really count by using technology to automate as many of your everyday tasks as possible.
- Take advantage of the tremendous amount of knowledge available free on the web. (But don't forget to share what you learn back to others.)
- Get your feet wet slowly. You can avoid a lot of headaches by starting off with a new technology on a small project rather than a large one.
- Be sure you understand the return on your investment, and balance your investment with the expected return.
- Don't be afraid to use a technology expert. It can really jump-start your learning. But listen carefully, as the "devil is often in the details."