Technology experts estimate that up to 90% of features included with software go unused. That is a staggering figure. And it’s easily fixable. Here are some tips to help you make sure small businesses are getting the most out of their IT resources.
- Training. Many hardware and software providers offer free training to help new users, especially smaller businesses. Take advantage of it. Don’t treat software or hardware like a dresser from IKEA and ignore the instructions.
- Blog posts. Most providers publish email newsletters (like this one!) and they often share little-known facts or tips to help maximize usage. Just like this newsletter, read those ones from top to bottom!
- User Groups. Many systems offer user groups where customers of all shapes and sizes can communicate with one another. See out user groups, especially those targeted toward small and medium-sized businesses. Every company may be a snowflake and how one company is using a piece of software may be different from how you are using it, but sometimes the best ideas come from outside your world.
- Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions. A friend of mine was wrestling with a new piece of software and couldn’t figure out something that was very important. So he took to the forums for the software. Ten minutes later, he had an easy solution that saved him hours of work.
- Hire a Consultant. Running a business can make it hard for people to see the forest for the trees. An outside pair of eyes can provide a new perspective that you’ll never get, no matter how long you stare at it. You may never notice that the painting is a sailboat unless someone tells you that’s what it is.