15 Top Tips to Choose the Best Technology for Your Business Needs

9 Min Read

There’s an overwhelming amount of business technology products on the market. For small business owners, where trial and error isn’t an option, what’s your best tip for most efficiently navigating technologies?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Take Advantage of Free Trials

Diana GoodwinWhenever we consider using a new technology, we make sure to heavily test during the trial period among multiple employees from different functional areas. And, if at the end of the trial period, we still need more time to come to a confident conclusion, we will ask the sales rep to extend the trial. Most will be amenable to this, especially for high-cost products. – Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile

2. Focus on Your Actual Needs

Shawn PoratThere are many impressive technologies and devices out there, but you probably only need a small percentage of these. Resist the temptation to buy every new shiny object. Start by analyzing your needs and identifying what will really help you manage or grow your business. Then research specific companies and products. The best criteria are personal recommendations and trustworthy reviews.- Shawn Porat, Scorely

3. Keep It Simple

Kevin ConnerEverything on the market claiming to be the “latest and greatest” may not be the latter, but just the former. Make sure, before you decide to even look into implementing a new tech into your company, that it’s something truly crucial to your business. If it won’t make your life and the lives of your employees easier by streamlining your work and improving productivity, what’s the point?- Kevin Conner, BroadbandSearch

4. Seek Opinions of Mentors and Trusted Friends

Matt WilsonBefore making investments in technology, it’s usually a good idea to seek the advice of people who know more about technology than you do. Who are your go-to people in tech? Think of these people as your advisers whom you can ask for recommendations before making a big spend. We’ve learned the hard way and spent thousands of dollars just to scrap our new investment.- Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

5. Opt for Flexibility

benjamin bearmanFor small businesses, I’ve found that the ability to use fewer systems to do more is paramount. Technology stacks with too many components can be cumbersome, and, even if they are the best for one or two specific tasks, they end up requiring too much time for upkeep. Open-ended products that allow for customization tend to perform better than a jumbled mix of best performers that end up unused.- Benjamin Berman, Optimize For Growth

6. Do Not Rely on Perfection

Andrew SchrageDo not rely on perfection. Get your product or service up and going, and tweak it as necessary according to new tech trends. That’s the best way to succeed regarding business technology. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

7. Look for Platforms Over Multiple Technologies

Peter DaisymeFocus on a platform that can streamline the number of technologies you really have to use and determine which ones can integrate with even more tools and technologies should you really need to add them. This can ensure you have the basics and then, as you continue operating, you may realize what else is a must-have.- Peter Daisyme, Calendar

8. Network With People a Little Further Ahead

Nicole MunozTrial and error is a luxury for established companies with some extra budgets. For the smaller fish, you need to try to latch on to someone that’s gotten a little further ahead and can provide some advice. Look for Facebook groups with a good community that relates to your niche and pay attention. There are a ton of good resources online to tap into. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

9. Don’t Be an Early Adopter

Justin BlanchardIn the tech space, there is a constant deluge of new technologies, products, services, frameworks, programming languages, development paradigms, and so on. But almost everything you might want to do can be done with standard, reliable, battle-tested technology that’s been around for years. Stick with what works and adopt new technology only after it’s had time to mature and prove its usefulness.- Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

10. Stay Up to Date With an RSS Feeder

syed BalkhiMake learning a habit by reading up on the latest technology in your industry. You can do this by setting up an RSS feeder through Feedly or Digg Reader. This will help you stay current on the tools your competitors and industry leaders are using. When you find a tool that looks interesting, research it further. Plug the name of the tool into forums like Reddit to find out what people are saying.- Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

11. Follow Up on Endorsements

Matt DoyleIf a program is endorsed by businesses that you trust, try following up on it. Try contacting some of the people behind the endorsement to find out if it is genuine, and what they think of the features. You won’t always get replies, but when you’re considering thousands a month for a license or a major buy, this is always a worthwhile step.- Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

12. Use Zapier’s Zapbook

lawrence watkinsThe most efficient way that I find new apps is through Zapier’s directory listing Zapbook. I like this avenue because the listed apps already have jumped a hurdle by having the API connected. Furthermore, you can sort by popularity, which shows what other users really like by category. Now, I rarely use an app if it is not listed on the service.- Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

13. Check Review Sites

Liam MartinGenerally, most review sites like Capterra and G2Crowd are pretty difficult to game and real customers are giving their reviews. We have used review sites to get a short list and from there, run trials of each product. Within that group, we usually end up with a winner within a month. I’d check the low star reviews as well, as they will usually tell you the problems you’ll experience with the software- Liam Martin, Staff.com

14. Use Quora for Expert Opinions

Aaron SchwartzQuora.com is an amazing question-and-answer site where entrepreneurs, investors and technology professionals share feedback to various questions. Anytime we’re considering using a new piece of software, we’ll first go to Quora and look up topics like “Review of software ABC,” “Should I use software ABC,” and “What are the best software products to solve issue X.”- Aaron Schwartz, Passport

15. Avoid Gimmicks

Bryce WelkerThere’s a term in software development known as “feature creep,” which is when a project is derailed due to too many extraneous features being added on to development. Something similar can happen when adopting any new business technology. It can be tempting to adopt a radically new platform or service with interesting features, but the safer bet is to implement something with proven reliability.- Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA

Share This Article
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.