You’ve got the business dream and can’t wait to serve your ideal clients (and make some money as well), but – what about all the tech that’s required to get started or keep it all going? If you have that feeling of tech overwhelm, know that you are not alone. On today’s episode, I’m going to lay out the three things you need to consider before your next tech purchase so you can embrace tech with confidence going forward.
Links Mentioned in this Episode:
- FREE Goal Planning Resource: sarahbrumley.com/goals
- Strategy Session: sarahbrumley.com/strategy
- Instagram: @sarahlbrumley
- Website: sarahbrumley.com
- ConvertKit: sarahbrumley.com/convertkit
- WPEngine: sarahbrumley.com/wpengine
- Monday.Com: sarahbrumley.com/monday
- Find more information and full transcript at sarahbrumley.com/podcast
Note: If you like receiving this content via podcast or blog, please leave me a review on Apple Podcasts so that I can continue to provide exactly what you want and need to grow your mama business. OR – post the link on social media and tag me so that I can thank you for sharing the news!
Before we get into all things tech, I have to let you know about my FREE Achieving Goals Workbook. After signing up, you’ll receive five short lessons about goals delivered straight to your inbox, along with some resources to help you lay out your dreams for your family, life, business, and more. I’ll take you step by step through this planning process and you’ll walk away with an actionable plan you can implement immediately. Because the truth is, we can’t achieve our goals if we aren’t super clear about what those goals are. Get that clarity by signing up today at sarahbrumley.com/goals.
Choosing the Right Tech
Oooh! I’m so excited and I have to admit that I LOVE software programs, productivity apps, and pretty much everything in between. In fact, I really struggle to stick with what I have and be happy about it. Anyone else get that feeling of FOMO?
But I do know that there’s a very real feeling of tech overwhelm, especially when it comes to new mama businesses. From website hosting, project planning software, payment processors and more – technology is critical to having a successful business which is why it’s so important that we know the three things that truly matter when it comes to choosing the tech we use in our businesses. And – here’s the deal, I think of us as friends going at this Mama Business thing together, and the thing about friends is that they share what they know…and that’s why I can’t keep this to myself!
So, let’s jump right into the 3 things you need to consider when choosing tech for your mama business.
Consideration #1: Purpose
The first thing to consider when choosing tech is how that piece of technology will help you make money in your business. Because – let’s get real – if you aren’t making money in business then you have a hobby, not a business. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that not every piece of technology you choose is going to directly create income for your business, but there should be a purpose related to how it will assist you in moving toward your end goal – making money and having a business that thrives.
Sometimes this is tough to determine, especially when you are just starting out because there are tons of items on the market and everyone will want to give you their two cents about what you definitely have to have in your business. And – that’s great, but I want you to remember that no matter what someone (myself included) recommends, you must make the determination for yourself as to whether it fits into your business purpose.
Note: The reason I’m bringing this up now is there is a benefit to determining this at the beginning of your business endeavors, rather than after you’ve wasted hundreds of hours trying to make something work for you that doesn’t help you move the needle forward.
Let’s talk about a tool I use in my own business as an example. Monday.com is a productivity app that works in a similar way to a Google spreadsheet, and allows me to track all of my tasks and projects in one place. The app itself doesn’t create income for my business, it doesn’t process payments or send invoices, and my clients and students don’t see or engage with it. What it DOES, though, is help me stay on track with the next thing I need to do to bring income in AND it allows me to pick up where I left off in the case of an interruption so that my processes stay consistent no matter what happens in my personal or family life. Which leads to client and student satisfaction on the other end. So, for my business, it’s a completely necessary piece of technology for moving the needle forward.
Consideration #2: Level of Support
Oh my goodness – if there is one piece of advice I can give to you it is that you need to be very aware of the level of support you want and need with any technology purchase. In my early days as a business owner, I was caught up in the “how much everything cost” mentality (which we will get to later) and I chose apps and programs that required so much research in order to figure out how to manage them. Fast forward 7 years and I’m very picky as to which platforms I choose based on what their level of support is.
Why? Because, my time is SO valuable. I have a husband, two teenagers and a baby relying on me – and I don’t have the time or the will to waste trying to figure out why a program just isn’t working for me.
So, consider this, will you spend 30 hours troubleshooting something that a tech team could do in 15 minutes while you are working on something else that’s actually moving the needle forward in your business?
My favorite example of this is related to website hosting. You see, I design and manage WordPress websites for many different clients. That means that I need reliable website hosting and I don’t have time to research everything related to why a website might suddenly be having an issue I’ve never seen before. Enter WPEngine. Their price point is slightly higher than other hosting platforms, but I know that I can jump on their chat at any point in time to ask whatever question I might have. They respond immediately and help me get back on track with my project. Most often, the issue is resolved within 15 minutes and I’m able to tend to my little one or work on another project while I wait.
With other hosting providers, I’ve had to spend hours and sometimes days researching and troubleshooting issues that were way out of my knowledge base.
Maybe website hosting isn’t your issue, but no matter what tech platform you are considering, make sure you always have the help you need to be successful and not waste your incredibly valuable time.
A simple way to do this is to take advantage of any free trial you can find with a platform you are considering. Then, play around during that time frame and make sure you have a reason to reach out to the help team so that you can understand how they will respond to your issues and whether the level of support you need is actually there. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask other mama business owners if they have experience working with that platform.
And, if you are looking for website hosting with great customer service, you can head over to sarahbrumley.com/wpengine to check it out.
Consideration #3: Scalability
Alright, so we know that we need to consider the purpose of the technology and the level of service, but there is one more thing that’s critical to think about before you make a purchase and that is scalability.
Sure, you might find the perfect tech platform to manage your business tools, website, or whatever else at this stage in your business, but what happens when you start to bring on more customers or clients, or you begin adding team members. Will this piece of technology scale with you and your business so that you don’t have to lose momentum by recreating the wheel?
A good example of this in my own business is my email marketing platform. When I started out, I was using a service that worked well for sending basic emails. What it didn’t do, though, was tag my subscribers or allow me to create effective sequences of emails when someone subscribed to my list.
That meant that I made multiple changes over the years – and that was not only time consuming, but expensive to do. Plus, I didn’t have that subscriber data that I desperately needed in order to continue scaling my business.
Now, I’ve landed on using ConvertKit for my email platform, because I know that I will be able to scale my use of the platform, no matter how big my business gets. PLUS – ConvertKit has fantastic customer service so it ticks that box as well!
As I add new products, freebies, and more, I’ll be able to continue to tag my subscribers so that I know what they are engaging with, as well as create new landing pages and funnels so that my ideal clients get the services and products that they desperately need to survive in their mama businesses.
Note: If you find yourself in the market for an email marketing platform – you can check out ConvertKit by heading to sarahbrumley.com/convertkit to get started on their free plan. (And…if you aren’t sure why you’d need an email marketing platform for you business – stay tuned for an upcoming episode about this very topic!)
Now, I used the email marketing platform as the example for a platform that will scale with my business, but it’s important to look at the scalability of any tech you want to implement in your business. Whether it’s a hosting platform, communications platform (like Zoom), your productivity and project management app, or anything else – don’t start your business with something you know won’t benefit you in the long run. Trust me, the cost (time and money-wise) of switching over your platforms is high. So, make sure you are starting off on the right foot now.
Okay – by now you are probably wondering why I haven’t talked about cost being a major consideration. Here’s the deal – cost is always a consideration. If you have no money coming in, you might not be able to afford the best of the best when it comes to your technology choices. But, I do want to caution you about choosing a platform just based on the price. There are a lot of exceptional platforms out there that cost nothing to get started with. The idea is that as your business grows, so does your income and, at the same time, the cost of the platform as your needs increase. So, don’t hesitate to take advantage of a free option whenever possible, but only if you see that platform being something that will grow with your business.
There are some things that you definitely need to have in your business, so those platforms might be something you settle for in the beginning, but to the best of your ability, don’t settle for something that will only require more time and work of you in order to be able to grow and make money with your business. Remember, every business will require some initial investment in order to be successful long-term. Don’t wait too long to make that investment because you’ll shoot your sales and profits in the foot if you can’t get up and going as fast as possible.
So, that’s just my little rant on that.
…And I have to say that if this is something you are struggling with, you can waste thousands of dollars trying to figure it out. Rather than do that and worry about whether you picked the right choice, why not jump on a Mama Business Strategy Call with me. We’ll walk through what you are currently doing or not doing when it comes to tech in your business so that you can walk away with a clear understanding of exactly what to use and when to use it. Plus, we can chat through any growth strategy questions you have while we’re at it! Want more information? Head over to sarahbrumley.com/strategy.
Now, I’m a huge proponent of taking action, which is why every Mama Business episode comes with action steps you can take immediately to uplevel your mama life and business.
Today’s action step is the following: I want you to do one of two things.
The first thing is that If you are currently looking for a new piece of technology to add to your business, I want you to run it through this checklist:
And the second thing is, if you already have technology implemented in your business, I want you to take the time NOW to go through this checklist for your current tech. (Remember, it’s better to implement what you need in the early days of your business so that you aren’t stressing out about it as your business takes off.) It could be that you’ll find that everything you use is actually ticking all of the boxes, but in the case that you find something that isn’t suiting your purpose, giving you the right amount of support or doesn’t seem like a platform that will scale with you, then it’s time to consider whether to eliminate it entirely or to replace it with something else.
I know from personal experience that I am much more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I’m accountable to someone. So, drop me a tag or DM me on Instagram @sarahlbrumley and let me know which one you chose so that I can cheer you on throughout this process. Because, truly – I’m so excited to cheer you on!