Do you have a tech stack? This question may leave you bamboozled as it feels like another thing to do on an already long list of to-dos. But a tech stack is a group of applications, web applications and software programmes that you use to streamline your business’ processes. By selecting the right technology you can improve your team’s efficiency and thereby boost your bottom line. Let’s learn how to build a great tech stack.
STEP 1: Identify and choose a requirement
Look at your business processes and look for places where you need to be more streamlined and efficient. You can ask yourself:
- What processes can you automate?
- What processes don’t require human intervention or does human intervention cause an error?
Now that you have a list of some processes, you can review your customer’s journey and see if you have left out any processes which can be improved by using the right technology.
If you are struggling to think of processes, here are some areas to look at emailing, content and social media management, invoicing, content creation and design, website, advertising, collaboration and project planning.
Once you have identified the processes that you would like to use technology on, choose one to focus on. It is important to know what other processes influences your selected process as this will affect which tech tool you choose.
STEP 2: Analyse the different tech tools
Now, that we have a process we want to focus on we need to look for a tool that will help with the process. Here are three questions to consider when picking your tools:
- Does the tool need to be industry-specific or process-specific? Remember industry-specific tools may be more expensive but they could be customisable. Industry-specific tools will usually be designed according to the industry’s best practices. A process-specific option is great if you require a standard solution for a common process.
- Do you require an all-in-one solution or a specialised solution? Depending on your business and how important the process is to your business will add some weight to which solution you choose.
- Do you require an off-the-shelf solution or custom-designed software? Here you need to look at how unique your process is and if it is worth your while to invest in a custom-built software programme. If you do build custom software, you may consider selling the software to others in your industry so make sure you have all the rights to the software once it is built.
Now that we know what type of tool we want we can research the different available options online.
Here are some tech options for:
- Customer Relationship Management: Salesforce
- Appointment system management: Bookem or Calendly
- Payment management: Payfast or Netcash
- Project or content planning: Airtable
- Content management: Hootsuite
- Websites: Xneelo or 1-grid
- Invoicing: Xero
STEP 3: Select a tool
Now that you know what is available you need to assess if the tool will be a good fit for you. There are four aspects to consider when choosing a tool.
- How customisable is the tool? Can you change the tool to suit your purpose or is it a fixed tool with very little customisation available?
- How scalable is the tool? Will the tool be able to grow with your business or will you need to find a new tool when your business gets bigger?
- Can it integrate with other tools? Will this tool integrate with other tools already in your tech stack or do you need to manually transfer the information from one tool to another?
- How affordable is the tool? Do you need to pay a monthly subscription or yearly license or can you pay for the product once off?
By following these three steps you will be well on your way to building a tech stack that makes your business more efficient and in turn improves your bottom line.
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