Running a business isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes grit, dedication, strategic planning, and business savvy - not to mention a great product or service. Checking the box by each of these characteristics may seem daunting, especially for young entrepreneurs, but there’s one factor that can set your startup apart from the rest.
Sure, technology isn’t a character trait and it certainly isn’t something you’re born with. When utilized correctly though, innovative tech can help your business not only succeed but also thrive - especially when you’re just getting started.
There are a few reasons for this. For starters, new technology can help you save time. In virtually every sector, tech exists that can not only streamline but also automate processes. In turn, you’ll save money that you’d otherwise invest in manually executing the same work. At the end of the day, using new technology to develop a cleaner workflow for your startup allows you to invest that saved money back into your business and help it grow.
Every business is unique but many face the same challenges - and yours is probably no exception. Whether you’re running a team of web developers or selling products through ecommerce, there are certain pieces of tech worth acquiring. Here are a few of the most important:
Communication is an integral part of your business. By investing in a top-tier chat platform, you can keep in touch with your team remotely or - if you work in the same office space - avoid meetings when a quick message will do.
Chat is faster than email and many products (such as Slack) are specifically designed to help young, tech-forward companies share files, collaborate, and communicate quickly. A few of the most reputable platforms include:
• Google Hangouts
• Skype Messenger
Project management is no walk in the park. Even small-scale projects need organization, and there are virtually limitless applications available on the market to help companies like yours stay on track. As you decide which software to use, consider the needs and scope of your projects.
• Do they involve multiple moving pieces and simultaneous subprojects? Consider using Gantt-chart-based software like Team Gantt.
• If you need more flexibility to assign projects along with smaller tasks in one space, consider something like Monday or Asana.
• Do you tend to have many pending or future projects at one time? Trello is a great (and affordable) option for organizing your team’s workflow in a “to-do” “doing” and “done” format.
Bringing on a new team member is exciting. It means your business is growing but it also means you’ll need to invest some time onboarding them into your current process.
Educating new employees isn’t a quick project though, especially when you have a lot of deadlines and only a little time. By using a training software (such as Lessonly) you can ensure that each new team member gets up to speed as quickly as possible and receives the same training. In other words, you can avoid pausing your workload and immediately dive back into your to-do list.
Productivity software requires access to the internet, and few things are as frustrating as a slow connection. On the flipside, utilizing the fastest (and best) network available can help you stay connected with more bandwidth and greater flexibility. This is where 5G comes in.
5G outshines its 4G predecessor in virtually every way, including mobility and energy efficiency. Additionally, the 5G network is designed to carry a massive data load and accommodate large numbers of users in one space without slowing down, which means your entire team stands to benefit.
Additionally, 5G offers improved latency (the amount of time needed for data to travel from the network to the user and back again). By investing in 5G connectivity now, entrepreneurs and their businesses can truly enjoy what the cutting edge of technology has to offer.
Living in an age of technology also means living in an age of instant gratification. Now more than ever, consumers expect to get what they want when they want it. Thanks to technologies like smartphones and tablets, you can carry the ability to communicate with your buyers and stakeholders in your pocket. More importantly, this means giving customers a level of attention and care they might not receive from the competition.
Let’s face it: The more successful your business is, the more plates you have to keep spinning in the air. With the help of project management and communication software, you can keep multiple projects running at the same time and avoid sending the dreaded, “I’m so sorry; this slipped through the cracks” email to team members or buyers.
In a tech-centric world, few things are as important as staying ahead of the curve. Innovation takes time, though, and time is something entrepreneurs are notoriously short on. By maximizing the potential of cutting-edge technology, you can spend more time innovating your own product or service and growing your business.
Technology is great, but finding the right tech can be overwhelming. The key is to identify what software will empower you to reap the most benefits for your unique business. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you pick out the best tech:
• Identify your roadblocks. If you have a team, sit down and figure out the most common roadblocks they encounter throughout the day. Do they have trouble staying organized? Do they spend too much time waiting for email responses? By understanding exactly where your current workflow fails, you can begin to paint a picture of the ideal solution (and the software that you need).
• Make a wish list. Solving every inefficiency at once is, frankly, inefficient. Write down every capability your ideal software would have, then prioritize each item. Each item should fall into one of the following categories: non-negotiable, ideal, and preferred. Non-negotiable items are necessary, while preferred items aren’t but would be nice to have.
• Do your research. Scope out the market and read up on all of the available software. Compare them against your wish list and start checking off boxes. Ideally, you should be able to find a product that satisfies all for your non-negotiable features. If you find a few that meet this criteria, start looking at your ideal and preferred items and make a decision from there.
• Don’t be afraid to change. Just like your internal processes, workflow efficiency is a work in progress. This means you’ll need to test tech before you fully commit your team to using it. Additionally, don’t be afraid to search for a new software in the future if you outgrow the first one you pick.
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