Myth #1: "Small businesses can't afford technology." Reality: There are many technology solutions that are low-cost or even free, including CRM software, collaboration and communication tools such as Skype, and marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter. To truly determine the cost of technology, you must determine specifically what the business needs (including training costs, support, maintenance, etc.) and cost out solutions, just as with any business investment. Always keep in mind that there are options at a wide range of price points. Also consider: "What is the cost associated with not using technology to help my business succeed?"
Myth #2: "Technology can't do what it promises. I've been burned before by false technology promises." Reality: Perhaps you have been burned. But does that mean you'll be burned every time you try to implement technology in your business? If you have been burned once by implementing a technology solution that did not work, learn from past experience. Perhaps you need to invest in training for staff or better communicate changes to customers. Figure out what mistakes were made and how to avoid them next time.
Myth #3: "Technology will put my business at risk. My customer data or trade secrets will be stolen." Reality: Safety and security are crucial for any business, and protecting data, especially customer data, is imperative. Data must be protected and controlled at the source: the database. Database security is at the forefront of technology concerns, and many technology solutions have stringent means of protecting sensitive information such as customer data.
It's also important to protect intellectual property. Using technology in a small business does not mean trade secrets are exposed for the world to take. Taking precautions through appropriate network security and use of copyright will help protect your trade secrets.
Myth #4: "My problem isn't with technology; it's with getting my customers to pay. Technology can't help with that." Reality: Getting customers to pay in a timely manner can make or break a business. As you look at your current means of collecting payments, what incentives do you have for customers to pay in a timely manner? Do you provide discounts for early payment? Do you tack on fees and accrued interest for late payments? There are many technology solutions that can make it easier for customers to pay you on time.
Myth #5: "My product/service can't be sold using technology." Reality: Technology can help drive the sales of almost any type of product. If you own a retail store, adding an e-commerce website can help you sell products without opening a second location or hiring additional salespeople. If you sell a service or a big-ticket product such as furniture, you may think that you need salespeople interacting directly with customers in order to make the sale. In reality, many consumers prefer researching products online and even buying online without ever talking to a salesperson. Using technology can give you access to this customer base. If you are a service-based company, you can also use technology to make it easier for you customers to make a reservation or appointment online. By streamlining the way you do business with technology, you are paving the way for more sales and a better customer experience.