Five girls are in changing rooms, trying on new outfits. Don't worry - all we can see is their heads and feet.

Why too much technology hurts your business

Are you feeling like it’s impossible to keep up with all the new technologies for businesses?

Perhaps deep down you know that if you find that one special app — the one that works seamlessly with how your business operates, the one that has that extra feature that no else offers, the one that just makes you feel good when you launch it every morning – that finding that mythical app will make a HUGE difference in your businesses’ success.

If that sounds familiar to you, then I’m here to tell you that is…

160x160x91-pile-of-pooWell, in a word: Crap.

In fact, for some folks, too much technology is actually holding their business back.

And if that’s you, I want to help you get your priorities straight so your business can blossom.

You’re banned from the ‘app fitting room.’

Think about when you go shopping in-person, at your favorite boutique, for a cute new shirt.

After you find a couple prospects that look promising, you find the fitting room and you put those suckers on. If it still looks good, then (and only then) do you even consider purchasing it.

And thank goodness for fitting rooms!

Lord only knows how many times I think I’ve found “the one” to discover it makes me look a tad…well, “fluffy,” once it’s actually on.

I’m not saying that fitting rooms are the problem.

Trying things on before you buy is super useful. You can learn a lot about how it works and fits by giving things a trial first.

But here’s the problem I’m seeing with some entrepreneurs and small business owners: They’re on the constant hunt for new tools – whether it is for invoicing, project management, CRMs, WordPress plugins or social media automation.

And when I say constant hunt, I do mean constant!

Their technological hunger is insatiable.

But for a lot of them, it’s not part of their job description to know everything about what’s new in social media to WordPress to accounting apps.

Look, if you have a specific problem that’s costing your business major time and/or major money and you have the resources available to deal with it, then by all means…DO IT. Spend the time and money to find a better solution, and get it into production ASAP.

Technology should be working for you.

But what I’m talking about are the entrepreneurs who try new products on a regular basis “just because” the new product looks better than what they currently have.

There’s no clear business NEED to upgrade. What they currently have works and it works just fine. But the lure of a new app that might be a little nicer draws them in…

If this sounds familiar, please read on.

You need to stop. Here’s why:

Truth #1: We do this because it feels good, not because it’s necessary.

For some of us, researching and finding the latest incredible app feels good.

  • It makes you feel more relevant.
  • It makes you feel like you really care about your business, because you’ll sacrifice spend countless hours searching and trying out the best apps.
  • It makes you feel smart, because being ahead of the curve means you’ve got it going on.

Staying on top of all the changes, nuances, and latest cool tech thing feels good.

But unless it’s your job to try out new products all the time, it isn’t the most effective use of your time as a business owner.

More bluntly: it’s not making you money to have the niftiest CRM on the block if the one you have works fine.

And using the best scheduling tool won’t pay the bills.

It’s usually an excuse to NOT look at those areas in your business that actually need your attention.

Truth #2: You’re business is here to make money, not be perfect.

Some of us fall into this trap because we crave perfection.

We see celebrities, talking heads, and super-trendy-really-hip businesses daily. We live in a society where having a perfect life and a perfect business is worshipped and admired.

Y’know, the “unicorn” business that makes six figures and works that mythical four-hour work week while tanning themselves at the Bahamas. In a hammock on their Apple laptop.

That business.

Your search for that perfect apps makes you feel like you’re closer to that business. But the reality is you’re spending a lot of your precious time for a very small return.

Truth #3 – Most companies really only do one thing well.

If you’re looking for that perfect tool that does it all, you’ll be searching forever.

Having developed software (well, back in the day) and also having evaluated hundreds of tools and products, the truth of the matter is: Most software products do ONE thing well.

That’s it: O-N-E. One.

In fact, they do that ONE thing so well they become famous for it. QuickBooks does accounting well. Google (originally) did searching well, and now rocks email as well. FreshBooks simplified invoicing for free-lancers.

After awhile most companies will add new features and benefits in an attempt to compete with their competitors or to try and get more marketshare.

On their sales page, they’ll show off a big list where they do everything that Company B and Company C does…and MORE!

You’ll start to hope and think that their software will be the “all-in-one” app that solves all your problems. Who knows, maybe it’ll cures world hunger, too!

Repeat after me: Few companies do more than one or two things well.

It’s the exception to find a company that dominates in multiple areas. (And if they do, you’ll pay a pretty premium for it.) Once you accept the fact that your perfect app probably doesn’t exist, you’ll evaluate products differently.

You’ll really get clear on what your goals are with any products you evaluate. What are your deal breakers? What are secondary (“nice-but-not-must-have”) goals?

If no app can meet all your primary goals (hey, it happens!), can you integrate two products that do meet your goals? Perhaps by using something like Zapier…

But…

If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable right about now, it’s okay.

I do want you to pay attention to business technology. Too little technology is just as bad as too much technology. So go ahead:

  1. Catch up on your favorite technology blog on a regular basis.
  2. See what apps and services your business friends and influencers are sharing on LinkedIn and Facebook.
  3. If you hear about some new product in a few places, it’s probably worth a peek.

But don’t feel like you have to drop everything and take action the moment you hear about something new.

Make a note about it. Sit on it a few days. Ask yourself if it’s needed or if it’s a desire.

Ask yourself: Will it help you make more money in the next 30-days or will it save you massive amounts of time? And ask if you’re the best person to be setting it up? What isn’t getting done in your life and business if you do it yourself?

Don’t spend all of your time downloading and signing up for every new awesome app you stumble across.

My advice: Twice a year choose an area in your business that needs improvement.

Before you start tinkering, figure out what your success criteria are, and then research what options are out there.

Or better yet, hire a technical strategist annually for a targeted assessment. In a couple of hours, a good consultant can identify if there are obvious opportunities that you’re missing out on, and then guide you straight to the most effective apps.

Instead of spending days researching, you can get a clear plan of action, like *that*. <snaps fingers>

Then you can use all that time you saved to eat bon-bons on the beach in your hammock, while making that mythical four-hour work week a reality.

Lots of people don’t spend enough time staying current with technology – and yes, they’re missing out on some huge opportunities. But if you’re the complete opposite and using too much technology to the detriment of your business, it’s time to just say “no.”

Shuffle out of the “app fitting room” and spend that time in your own business, making money.

It’ll pay off.

I promise.

About the Author

Lisa Burger

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Lisa Burger helps small businesses find and setup modern business systems (so they can grow with their sanity intact) and create an impressive online identity - so they can get noticed and be profitable.

She's also in the early stages of creating The Technology Boutique, a spot for women entrepreneurs and small business owners to discover the best technologies for creating a profitable modern business. Take a peek, then sign up for updates while you're there!

If this post was useful, join Lisa on Twitter (@TechCoachLisaB) or send her an email anytime at hello@lisaburger.com.