Technology has become such an intrinsic part of every business sector that now, to work efficiently and keep up with competitors, even simple home businesses require at least a basic understanding of tech.
If we take the example of a home cake making business, on the face of it you might think designing and icing cakes is an excellent way to escape the technological requirements of the modern world. But what happens when it’s time to send off your invoices? And how do you let your customers know you’re there? That’s where tech can help. Becoming familiar with some simple (and more advanced) technological practises can be the difference between your business simply getting by and achieving amazing success.
If you feel like your technological know-how is holding you back and could do with a bit of a boost, here are a number of simple steps you can take to improve your tech skills and take your home business to new heights.
1. Schedule time to read around
One of the great things about tech is the fact that there are some fantastic sources of information out there that you can access online for free. Each week, why not dedicate an hour of your time to learning more about the technology that could help you overcome some of the specific challenges you face? Perhaps your business would benefit from you learning more about how to use social media to advertise your business and grow your brand and audience. Or perhaps you would benefit from learning more about website analytics so that you can work out who your main customer base is and work out how to target them directly and appeal to them even more. Spend time perusing the different sections of Home Business Mag and other technical blogs, websites and magazines, and treat Google as your best friend for sector-specific tech advice.
2. Attend tech events
Once you’ve dipped your toe into the tech waters, a great way to take your interest further is to attend some of the many tech events that are in held in the UK every year. There’s certainly no shortage of tech events in 2018 to choose from across the country, with a focus on everything from cybersecurity and machine learning to the latest in smart devices and marketing technology. These events are a great place to discover the latest tech that can take your business further and ensure you stand out against competitors. And of course, they are also a great place to network with experts in the field and like minded business owners who could prove useful to your business’ success. Go armed with any questions you have as there will always be professionals on hand to provide answers to your questions and for you to bounce your ideas off of.
3. Talk to other micro-business owners
There’s no better source of hints and tips than other microbusinesses who are likely to be faced with the same challenges and gaps in their knowledge as you. Networking events, conferences and other industry-specific events are a great place to exchange ideas and talk about the things that make your business tick. Find out what software other businesses swear by and what practises they couldn’t live without. A simple conversation could lead to the implementation of new technology and software that could end up saving you a couple of hours of your time every week. For example, did you know that you can link up your social media accounts so you only have to post once across all your platforms? That’s an incredibly simple way to squeeze more from your day.
4. Make the most of online tutorials
A quick search on YouTube will allow you to access free, timely and often high-quality tutorials on everything from video editing to the fundamentals of search engine optimisation. There are also a lot of free online courses out there, provided by platforms such as Coursera, across all different specialisms. There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored, and the fact that you can gain these sorts of insights for free online is a huge merit of the 21st Century. This means that you don’t have to stretch your budget to pay for expensive training courses. Putting the new skills that you obtain from these tutorials into practice will not only boost your technological nous, but it’ll also help you identify other areas where your business can improve so that you can continue to grow and become more and more successful.
When you run a home business, the biggest challenge you face can often be finding the time to improve your skills. However, you can rest assured that the time you invest into understanding and implementing new technology will usually be repaid many times over. It will be worth it for the long-term growth of your venture.