Business owners and managers need to know what the state of their business is. For larger businesses, this means having a team that can collect and analyze the data for each element and present it in a manageable form. A small business needs all the same information, but there is no budget for a whole specialized team. That means that for the small business, dealing with data needs another solution.
The first choice is to outsource the work. There are plenty of firms out there that will take care of one or more elements of the business including market research, marketing, and bookkeeping. If there is no one in the organization that has the proper skills, this is a viable option. As a business owner, you will need to spend some time ensuring that you are hiring the right firm, especially when it comes to bookkeeping.
Another option is to have someone on staff that can fulfil multiple roles; preferably someone who has completed an online MBA program and is well versed in multiple fields.
People fulfilling multiple roles are par for the course, and this is no different. Often there is no need at the beginning for a full-time bookkeeper or marketer, so having people pick up these duties may be a perfect solution. In this option, hiring the correct candidate is going to be crucial. Not everyone can handle having a multifaceted job. You need someone who is ready to learn and change along with your business.
If you can’t find someone to handle all these tasks, training someone with new skills may also be a choice. One of the powers of the internet is that there are many free and inexpensive training options you can get for you or your employees. Choose wisely who to invest in as you don’t want to pay for training just for the employee to leave for a competitor. Instead, work with your team, find out what would interest them, and make the investment that will best benefit both of you.
Another aspect of this challenge is the tools you use to process this data. A large business can afford to not only pay employees to work with the data; they can afford the equipment to process it as well. For a small business, these tools are often out of reach; Technology has actually begun to answer this problem. Cloud computing and new tools allow even small businesses access to the computational power need to tackle any challenge.
When choosing data software, there is going to be a few steps to ensure you get it right. Who is going to be using the tool? What do I need it to track? Is this tool going to output data in a form that is actually useful? Finally, is the cost going to be worth the value of the data received? Answering these questions will tell you whether you need to make the investment or keep shopping.
How Complex a Process Do you Need?
There are some things, like accounting software, that is a no-brainer. You need to track your financial position. Other items, like SEO analytics, are less cut and dry. Should you stick with the basic Google analytics, or purchase a more comprehensive package elsewhere? Consider the talent on your team when making this decision. A stronger employee may be able to do the same or better job with a less inclusive tool. Make use of free trials and let the team member make a significant contribution to the final decision.
However you decide to deal with data in your business, you need to deal with it. Small business is all about using the resources available to you in the most efficient way possible. Having good data allows you to see opportunities and problems further out, and deal with them more effectively. Building a small business is a journey, and data is your map. Follow the directions to achieve success in your endeavours.