How Can You Choose the Right Tools for your Business and Virtual Team – Step 1?

When we do a strategy meeting with someone to help them outsource or streamline – one of the easiest ways we find to fix major problems and obstacles in a business is to find the right technology tools.

It is also one of the biggest challenges solo-prenuers and online marketers face, especially if they are not good with computers and software.

I am here to tell you that the challenge is not the “technology” nor is it “the problem”.  I am also here to tell you that it is easy to find the right solution for your needs – and YOU don’t need to be a tech-head.

That is why I am devoting the next few issues to showing you a really simple process to help define your needs, research a solution, and choose the best fit –  whatever your problem or technology requirement.

This happens every day in business around the world.  Someone is searching for a solution they “think” they need but have never actually brainstormed and written down the specifics of what they need.   100% of the people we meet with have never written a “specification” of what they want.

Now I know what you are going to say “I am not a techie”, “What would I know about a writing specification”, “This is above my head”.

By specification, I simply mean a list of specific needs

How do you think you would go finding your dream home if you told a real estate agent you wanted a 4 bedroom house with water views?  You might get lucky but I don’t think so, I think you would be searching for years to find the exact house with the exact features you want.

The same applies to your business.  You need to get specific and detail exactly what you need.

I have seen major deployments go wrong because they had a technical specification but not a “User specification”

So this is what I want you to do. Open a new word document and title it My Requirements

The next thing I want you to do is start typing, type what?

Type exactly what you want, don’t worry if you don’t think it exists, type exactly what you think would fix your problem.

Please note – if you have a team, have each and every member do this same exercise – you will be surprised at the great ideas they will come up with.

Here is a very simple example of a requirements list:

  • I would like an way for my clients to automatically book an appointment with me
  • I would like to select the days to make available for different types of appointments
  • I want my VA emailed so she can set up a recorded phone call
  • I want it to automatically update a calendar
  • I want my iphone calendar updated also
  • I want my client to fill out a questionnaire before my meeting
  • I want to access the questionnaire in a central location before the meeting

Now this is a simple solution that would not even really need the process I am about to show you, but the principle still applies.  Write it down, it does not matter how stupid or simple it sounds, write it down.  Be as specific as possible, the more specific the more chance at finding what your require.  A lot of people have the first thing they want to fix in mind, find a solution and pay money only to find down the track that solution can’t grow with them or does not even satisfy 50% of their requirements.

This process will help you get in mind the “Bigger Picture”, and gets your team to think about a “total solution”.

It will also lay the foundation for the next critical step in the process – Creating a Research Wishlist

So before I write the next article, you have some homework to do – get writing and get brainstorming with your team.

If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments, I would be happy to help.

Also, if you have had a good or bad experience, let our little community know, maybe there is something we can do to help.