Making Smart Decisions When Buying Digital Technology for a New Business
Virtually every business now uses some form of digital technology. Take, for example, the building industry. Increasingly, software and screens are used to track workflow and progress. Virtual reality enables clients and construction workers to see what elements of the finished building will look like. Just a couple of examples of how important digital technology is becoming.
Regardless of the type of business you are setting up, it is well worth taking a look at the tech that is available and working out whether it is worth your while to invest in it yourself. To help you to learn how to do that we are going to look at a few real-world examples and explain how you would go about working out what the ROI is likely to be.
Calculating the ROI on tech that helps you to increase your sales
Let s start with a simple piece of tech that costs very little to set up – digital display screens. The use of digital signage for specific industries is becoming increasingly popular. They catch the eye, which is why retailers, gyms, salons, bars, restaurants, and other customer-facing businesses use them for in-store advertising. What is displayed on them can be updated in minutes. So, when one special offer runs out that advert can be replaced with one for another product.
The latest in-store advertising screens come loaded with software that enables retailers to track what ad is being shown, and when. Once this information is combined with sales data, the retailer can very quickly see which type of promotions work best with their customer base. This is powerful information that can be used to inform stock buying decisions and increase sales.
To work out if it makes sense to use digital display screens in your business start by adding the cost of buying or leasing a screen with the running costs. Use this electricity consumption calculator to help you to do that. Now, sit down and work out how many extra sales you would have to make to cover that cost. They are not very expensive to buy and consume less electricity than many people realize. Most businesses find that the cost of buying and running a couple of digital display screens can easily be covered by even a slight uplift in sales.
Buying technology your business cannot function without
Some technology is essential. For example, some businesses might approach reputed technological vendors who can assist them with network access control (you can investigate this site for more information). By doing so, they can assure safety for their business data, sites, and other valuable information that could be prone to cyber-attacks. Such solutions are actually a necessity. Let’s take another example into consideration. Every new business needs a way to accept payment. In the past, for retailers, cafes, and salons that would have meant buying or leasing a fully-featured cash register. Something that is not cheap to do.
Fortunately, for most small businesses taking that approach is not necessary. Over the past decade, the Point of Sale (POS) industry has been transformed. You no longer need to buy a full-sized register, just a cash drawer and a tablet or Android device are all you need. Along with a subscription to give you access to POS software like Vend, Square, or Revel. As you can see here, prices start at around $59 per month.
You could simply choose the cheapest provider. But, when it comes to essential technology, cost should never be your only consideration. It is important to make sure that what you buy offers the flexibility to grow. For example, it would be a false economy to opt for a POS system that can only handle 500 products if selling a wider range of goods is an essential part of your growth plan. The additional cost of buying a more powerful POS system could easily wipe out several weeks of profit.
Investing in technology that enables you to grow fast
Sometimes it is better to pay a little extra to get your hands on technology that will help you to grow faster. Technology that enables you to take advantage of new opportunities or to work more efficiently. Both of which enable you to draw from a bigger pool of customers and serve them quickly, which naturally improves your profitability. If you would like to learn how to calculate the ROI for this type of technology, you can do so by reading this article.
Ensure that the technology is having the desired effect
Regardless of what technology you decide to invest in, make sure that you keep track of how much it costs to run. As well as checking that things have worked out as expected. For example, the way your POS system keeps track of your inventory is actually leading to fewer out of stocks and lost sales opportunities. If you are not seeing the expected improvements, quickly look for something better.