As technology becomes increasingly prominent, there are certain skills that are essential for aspiring entrepreneurs.
In addition to qualities like tenacity and ambition, being proficient in technology can help you connect with clients and take your business to the next level. Fortunately, today’s students and grads have an advantage in this arena – as ‘digital natives,’ they have grown up with the new products that are shaping the professional world.
Even if you’re familiar with some of the basics, there are still plenty of ways budding entrepreneurs can use technology to expand their skillset.
Knowing how to send an email or create a PowerPoint are fundamental skills, but they are hardly going to make or break the success of your business. Instead, focus on finding new ways to improve your communication with clients and speed up your workflow. Holding virtual business meetings and teleconference calls are the norm in modern businesses, so it’s important for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to be familiar with emerging technologies.
However, communication does not stop at face-to-face or virtual contact – communicating the message of your business is vital as well. Ensure that you have a solid knowledge of presentation tools so you can illustrate your brand’s purpose effectively to customers and clients alike. Your ability to communicate connects to your capacity to succeed – if no one can understand your message, no one will buy into your idea. Additionally, cultivating your communication skills will help you connect with and attract potential employees with similar skills. A team of high-tech communicators can make for a formidable company in the future.
People who can surf the Internet are a dime a dozen – what can really help separate you from standard technology users is a proficiency in coding. Coding is the process of providing a website or computer program with additional instruction or upgrades. By learning even basic coding, you demonstrate your ability to adapt to the ever-changing world of technology.
Furthermore, learning to code will give you the option to make your own way on the Internet. Instead of paying someone else to create your website or maintain your product’s blog, you will be able to do everything yourself. If you can, add a coding class to your school schedule, take a night course, or attend a weekend seminar. When you approach the Internet with the right mindset and take control of what it can do for you (and your product), the sky’s the limit for your company’s success!
3. Banking and Bookkeeping
When structuring your company, you should consider using online banking and bookkeeping for your organization’s finances. This will allow you to easily track and store important financial documents, which will come in handy when you have to file your company’s taxes for the first time. Online bookkeeping alleviates headaches and reduces filing – it also creates a clear and identifiable ‘paper trail,’ so to speak, for purchases and receipts when you bank online. Additionally, technology is not only useful for tracking your finances, but also for selling your product and service. For example, if you equip your company with an online checkout option, you open your product and business up to a wider range of potential clients.
4. Social Media Management
These days, everyone and their dog has an Instagram or Twitter account. This means that if you’re an entrepreneur using social media to promote your product, you need to find a way to stand out.
Social media is a great place to assess your competition, try new marketing techniques, and show appreciation for your customers. Update your social media platforms on your entrepreneurial progress, and engage your audience in a fun and creative way. For instance, you can write a blog about securing your first website domain name, or create a video about how your first pitch meeting went. If it’s relevant, tweet about it, then take an Instagram photo for good measure – stay current and stay consistent.
5. Mobile Marketing
The natural next step from social media marketing is mobile marketing. The entire world is on the go, so your company should follow that example. Creating an easily accessible mobile interface for your product and service is essential for making the leap from small-town success to big-town bestseller.
Additionally, without a mobile platform, your company will be a tough sell to potential investors because they want to see you adapt but even more importantly, stay ahead of the curve. A mobile platform demonstrates your flexibility and your creativity. It is also an excellent chance to showcase your coding skills if you end up pursuing that interest further. With a little imagination and a well-constructed design, a mobile interface could help you corner the market in your field.
6. Data Management
As your business and professional endeavours expand in the future, you will need to make sure that you are monitoring your growth. This means that, even before your business gets off the ground, you need to keep track of everything that is relevant to your potential company. Compile all of the contacts you make during the creative process including mentors, media, or even friends because those conversations you had could be useful to solving a problem in the next stage of development. Also, if you apply for grants or funding, keep copies of all of that paperwork and revisit those opportunities as often as possible.
In addition, you can use of cloud technology to store all of your promotional photos, product ideas, brainstorming, and presentations in a central place without bogging down your computer or laptop with large amounts of data. Google Drive and Evernote are great options, especially since they facilitate collaboration.
When you become an entrepreneur you put a lot of yourself into a project to make it work. Getting these 6 skills under your belt will help you start your business on the right foot.