Evaluating Your Tech
‘Technology is everywhere, and in every facet of our business. It seems there’s hardly anything we can do that doesn’t involve some form of technology! As our businesses and organizations grow, so does our need for tech solutions. Unfortunately, it can get out of hand really quickly. You decided to get more serious about social media so you got scheduling software. Someone mentioned this new data tracking tool you had to try so you got that. A new course just launched to help you with new event planning tools so you bought that too. Then a few years later you have no idea what you’re even using, what you’re paying for, or what is even the best to support your biz!
Does any of this sound familiar!!!
Yes, technology can be a huge support, streamline and save you time. It can also be an extreme time suck and get expensive fast. This post will walk you through a tech audit and help you evaluate what tools you truly need.
What do you need to do day to day?
Now it might seem like and audit should start with what you already have. However, let’s start with a blank slate. Pretend you don’t have any tech tools and let’s create a list of what would be helpful for you in your daily activities. This would be a great activity for everyone on your team to do individually. For this purpose, your team could include board members or volunteers that are involved ain a regular capacity. Some areas you’ll want to think about include:
- how you manage projects.
- marketing activities.
- fundraising support.
- KPIs and what you need to track that.
- donor nurturing.
- donor management.
- task management.
- grant management.
- online courses/resources.
- event software.
You get the idea! Try and be specific if you can. For example, social media posting or social media analytics vs just social media.
Once you have your individual lists, complie them together and find common threads. Group your list so you can see the elements that are most common with your organization to the least. You’ve just created your priority list.
Create the list of tech you have.
Now it is time to complie the list of everything you currently have. Start with your credit card. Go through the past year and make a list of al the platforms you’re paying for. This is the easiest place to start because it will help you identify things you may have forgotten about.
Create a spreadsheet that includes:
- Product name
- What it’s used for
- Renewal Date
Make sure you connect with all members of your team for other memberships or resources they might also have. This could include membership dues for professional organizations or local organizations like a Chamber of Commerce. While these aren’t necessarily tech tools, they offer other resources that you may be paying for that could save you money.
Organize your tech tools by your biggest day to day priorities.
Now that you know what the biggest priorities are for you to accomplish and the areas that you and your team need the most support in, you can organize you tech tools by priority as well. You’ll start to see a good picture of what are the pieces of software you must have.
It may not be that you eliminate anything, but at least you know that everything you have you need.
At this point, I like to take a look at the bigger picture tools you’re using. This is typically your donor CRM, your financial software, a project management tool, and the software you’re using for day-to-day operations like email and your internal systems.
If its been a bit since you have signed up for these platforms they may have added additional features. Or, you may have opted out to some features due to cost. Now that you have a full list of costs for all your tools you can easily evaluate. The least amount of software you have in your organization the easier it is to get things done.
You can also use this information to negotiate with companies to get new features at a better rate. For example, maybe you’re paying for SMS texting on one platform, but now your email marketing software offers that at a higher package. You know what you’re paying for the other platform so see if you can save money by lumping them altogether.
Cut what you don’t need
Now is the fun part! Time to save some $$$! Time to transfer the information from the tools you don’t need and shut it down. Tech changes so fast and reviewing regularly will help you make the most of your tools and make sure you aren’t spending more than you need.
Now that you know what you’re paying and know that it aligns with your teams needs, you might find you need to add new tools. Always start with what you already have to see if they have those capabilities. If you need to add software then use our tips for finding the right CRM. It can be applied for researching any platform you’re looking for.
Tech is a great way to save time and money but can get out of hand quickly. By auditing your tech needs at least once a year you can ensure your tech is helping to support your organization, not take away from it. For more tips on how to use tech to support your business listen to episode 175 of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast.