Tools Vs. Gadgets: Building a Better Business

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On September 28, 2015

Tools-vs-gadgets-building-a-better-businessEvery time you turn around these days, there’s another new gadget on the market that someone is convinced you can’t live without. Apparently, when Apple trademarked the phrase: “There’s an app for that” they were serious (By the way, if you want a reminder of how time flies, that was 5 years ago!). And it’s not just apps that have multiplied. There are gadgets galore as well: from iWatches to FitBits to thermostats that learn your heating and cooling preferences and control your home’s temperatures for you.

Some apps and gadgets are incredibly helpful and useful. Others exist purely for entertainment value. And some even seem to have value but really don’t really do all that much.

That kind of thing is prevalent in business as well. There are all kinds of business “tools” out there, that appear to offer insight and help for helping you build a better business. A quick online check reveals that offers 2,104,594 different business books. And if you refine your search on Amazon to “business tools” you’ll still have 44,270 tools and gadgets from which to choose.

So how do you know which tools will really help your business grow—and not just be an entertaining exercise that wastes time you really can’t afford to waste? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Is it strategic? Does the tool you’re using provide you with helpful information that helps you accomplish specific goals and objectives? Some business “gadgets” may actually uncover information that’s interesting—but not really pertinent to what you’re trying to accomplish.
  1. Is it measurable? In a similar way, there are business tools or gadgets that reveal information that’s difficult or impossible to quantify. If you end up with a lot of information that can’t be measured, you have to question whether or not that information is really valuable.
  1. Is it actionable? Can you actually take action steps to improve your business when you’re done using the tool or gadget? That’s really the purpose of a business tool: to improve performance.

I became a business coach after accumulating 32 years of sales, marketing, leadership, teambuilding, and product and business development experience. I’ve seen a lot of business tools and gadgets in that time. And while I always keep my eyes out for new and better tools that can help businesses grow, I know that any tool worth it’s salt has to have at least those three elements.

If you’d like to try some tools that will reveal strategic, measureable information about your company that will lead to specific actions that can make your business better—I’d love to help you find them—and use them effectively!