The fact that we are living in an era when technology dictates much of what we do with our small businesses is not news. We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in business ever. So the question is not whether technology is changing your business, because of course it is.
The number of options when it comes to technology can be overwhelming. Let me suggest four easy things you can do today to, if not get ahead of the technology curve, then to at least stay up with the times.
1. Update your website: There was a time not long ago when I would have told you to “get a website!” But fortunately, that moment has seemed to have passed; most entrepreneurs understand that they must have a website.
But that begs the question: When is the last time you gave yourself a website audit? Take a look at your site:
- Does it still say “© 2012” at the bottom? (It better not!)
- How does your “About” page read? (It needs to be current.)
- Do you have video on your homepage? (You should.)
Your website really is your window to the world these days, and the good news is that getting a new one or updating your old one requires neither a lot of time nor a lot of money. But it will yield a lot of results.
2. Dive into a new social media site: By the same token, many small business owners seem to have gotten the memo that social media is truly a unique and valuable opportunity. Even if they have not mastered exactly how to get it to impact their bottom line, many entrepreneurs have hopped on the social media bandwagon and at least mastered one of the platforms.
If that describes you, one easy way to use this technology revolution to your benefit is to take the time to learn another social media platform. If you are posting specials on Facebook, maybe Instagram might be a good addition, or Twitter, or Pinterest, for example.
The point is, there is a segment of your audience on these other sites right now, and if you begin to lock-in on them at platforms they are using, you likely will create a new profit center for yourself.
3. Upgrade some tech: At my site The Self Employed, we used to have a hosting plan that made sense when the site was launched. But after a few years, we were having tons of problems. The site had grown so much and was getting much more traffic and serving up a lot more pages, so it started to load slow and then eventually crashed.
But the cost of a server upgrade was not appetizing.
Too bad for me.
Eventually, we had to get a significant server upgrade. And boy are we glad we did. The site is a huge part of my business, and it runs like a champ now. So the question of course for you is, what part of your technology package could use an upgrade, and what sort of difference might it make?
4. Learn something new: There is simply so much new information that comes down the pike every day that it would be impossible to give one recommendation over another. For instance, I recently learned about a new product called Sway that really makes presentations pop. Learning about it will definitely improve my business.
What about yours?
Do a search for apps and products that strike your fancy or fit the bill. Check them out. I can guarantee there is something out there right now that you don’t know about that will either make your life easier, your business better, or both.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss.
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