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Move over, technophobes, tech-savvy Aussie SMEs are here

08 December 2014 | 4 minute read
emma shean

In 2014, Aussie SMEs spent on average $4,300 on software* (thats a lot of coffee). In an ever-growing society of tech-savvy humans (like you and I), the businesses that implement and embrace technology succeed in generating increased revenue, productivity, exposure and have an overall advantage to their competition who are stuck in the '80s.

Deciding what to use, what to purchase and when can be quite daunting when youre an SME (and potentially expensive if you dont make the right choice). If youre an SME looking to dive into the melting pot of technology, put your flippers on and have a read of the following before you make a lucky dip purchase that could ultimately cost you both in time and money.

Do your research

Have a proper search of all the options available, speak to people and dont be afraid to enquire about products that youre looking into. Take your time with your search, to ensure you dont miss anything. If any providers offer a free trial, take full advantage of it, as sometimes you dont know what a product is really like until you use it.

Consider all cost factors

When looking for technology, think of all the costs associated with it. Are there costs such as setup, installation, training and support? Do they have monthly plans or is it all upfront? Are you paying for features you simply will not use? And if you choose not to invest, how will that cost your business in the long run? Will it hinder your success and potential growth?

Desktop vs laptop/tablet

Which is better for your business? And where will you be working? If you have a job thats office-based, you may like a desktop computer. However, with more and more businesses becoming mobile, a laptop might be better for flexibility. Tablets are also becoming important in business, offering a lightweight, easy-to-use option that's great for on-the-go business.

Installed vs online software

There is an increase in the amount of software you can access online rather than traditional installed software. The benefits of an online program are plenty, with no costs for installation on multiple workstations, no time wasting software updates and access issues if you have it installed on your work desktop but need to access it when away from your desk. Depending on the online software provider, you can pay month to month, have unlimited users and log in to access your work wherever you have an internet connection.

It pays to do your research before buying products with all the bells, whistles, steak knives and kitchen sink that your business may not use.

* Sensis eBusiness report 2014

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