Legal operations technology doesn’t necessarily rise to the top of the priority list when it comes to small business technology budgets. Legal tech can be expensive, bulky, and at times, even unwieldy. In addition, smaller businesses often don’t prioritize technology within their budgets, and when they do, it’s often focused on modern accounting software or, less frequently, customer-facing marketing tools.
Technology, however, seems to be one of the key differentiators for a small company to close the gap and become a large company.1 Investment in intangibles is the leading factor in determining whether a small business will remain small, or a large business will hold its place in the market.
There are several reasons why technology, especially legal technology, can be difficult to come by in a small business:
1. The legal team is aware of the technology, but doesn’t understand if or how it helps them
There are a growing number of legal tech options, each with big promises and their own slate of features (and expenses). Often, these are created to cater to larger organizations with large legal departments and much larger budgets. Finding a useful, affordable tool that solves more problems than it creates can be nearly impossible for small legal departments. And, taking the time to explore the technology to understand what it offers and whether it will actually help them takes time that in-house lawyers on small legal teams just don’t have. (Check out ALOE Standard for an affordable legal ops tool – there’s even a 30-day free trial)
2. The length of time they’ve been in business
Business owners who have been running their small business for a long time can become comfortable with the way things have always worked. Changes to processes that used to function smoothly, increased budget lines, and technology they don’t understand can be a difficult sell for these owners.
3. The age of the business owner
According to a Yodle, Inc. study,2 82 percent of business owners are over the age of 50, and more than half of those are over the age of 60. Adoption for owners over 50 can be significantly decreased and it can be harder to get these leaders to invest in technology, even if they believe it will improve outcomes and aid their employees in productivity.
Investing in intangibles in your small business is a strategic and critical part of growth, and determining where those investments go can be challenging. Start small and work within your department.
- How can you increase productivity?
- How can you create accessible legacy information to ease staff transitions or annual processes that require last year’s details?
- What does your team need to be empowered to do their best, most efficient work (especially while working remote)?
- Can a reporting tool create visibility to help you continue to invest smarter?
Understanding what you need to grow is the first step in finding the right tech to get you there.