Technology for Grown Up Business Owners
Technology that will suit the refined tastes of Grown Up Business Owners
If you’ve read my latest book – Get your Marketing Cooking – you’ll know how much I love cooking. So I’m delighted to share this article, which is my recipe for success for using tech in your new business.
Our business Silver & Wise is all about changing the lives of mature age individuals through business ownership.
So let’s take a peek at 5 Tasty pieces of Tech that you can use in your business.
One of the criticisms levelled at mature age business owners is they are not tech savvy.
Be that as it may, when you start your first business in your 40’s and 50’s you are probably going to be exposed to a broader array of technology that you have been in your previous corporate jobs.
The basic ingredient
You simply can’t get by without Cloud Bookkeeping on your menu – this has absolutely revolutionised my world in the past five years. I’ve been running a business for 16 years, and from day one, I had QuickBooks on my computer. But despite this being “technology”, it was a long way from what you can get now. Sure it was a step up from the shoebox, but it didn’t communicate with our bank, and if we wanted to send information to our accountant we had to download and email a file to him.
PLUS I still had to receive hard copies of bank statements, invoices and receipts, give them to my bookkeeper with a brief on what to do, and then check everything had been reconciled each month.
Now, I use a cloud-based bookkeeping solution. One you can check out is QuickBooks invoicing software by Intuit
I actually don’t need a bookkeeper anymore, and I have saved between $20,000 and $25,000 a year in both time and money saved.
An entrée that will go with anything
Customer Relationship Management – sometimes shortened to CRM – If you want a tech tool that will not only delight your palate but is simple and easy to prepare, then CRM is for you.
Less than 20% of businesses in our business ownership benchmark have communicated with their existing database of customers in the last 12 months.
With this technology, you’ll be able to communicate and enjoy the benefits that keeping in touch with and promoting to existing customers will bring any business. Existing customers are 8-10x cheaper to market to than prospects, so why wouldn’t you?
Tastes of the world
As little as 10 years ago, we were paying up to $180 an hour for professional graphic design in Australia.
So if you like different cuisines, and have an adventurous streak with your food, then this technology is definitely for you in your business.
My most recent job was getting illustrations for my book. I used a fine art student in Chile, who did an awesome job, for 10% of the cost of a similar task 5 years ago. On another book I had an awesome graphic designer from the USA develop 21 illustrations for a book on raising dough targeted at community organisations.
Skills are the Sweets of Business
One thing you may find as a business owner if you have staff is you may end up answering the same question dozens or hundreds of times in the course of a year. With online course software and systems software like “COURSEGENIUS” or “SYSTEMHUB” – you can record and document all your key business processes and also create short courses for your staff with videos, audio and documents.
The productivity benefit of documenting processes, and recording FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) will blow your mind.
A little Fairy Floss to finish
Do you remember as a child buying fairy floss at the Fair? It looked just pink clouds. So let’s talk a little about the Cloud in terms of storage
When we started our business, we had files stored on disks – floppy, then hard disks; then USB sticks.
To get artwork to our printers, we had to burn a copy of the disk, order a courier and hope they got across peak hour traffic to deliver it on time.
If we wanted to send large files to a client interstate it was an overnight courier or express postbag.
Now, with sites like Wetransfer or Dropbox our files are stored in the cloud, accessible 24/7 to any of our staff, customers or suppliers, on any device we choose. The productivity benefits for any business of document management, file transfer and the resultant drop in time and courier costs are just one aspect of the benefits of the cloud.
Well, my mature age business owner friend – there are five key pieces of tech you will not want to live without in your business, and their tasty efficiency will keep you coming back for more – just like the best chef-prepared dinner.
You’ll find them easy to use, cost-effective and accessible – no matter what your age or experience with technology in the past.
Enjoy the benefits of using them in your business. Bon appetit!