Pretty soon, one of the biggest technology events on the planet will take place: the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas. At this show, technology vendors showcase the latest and greatest technologies for consumers, homes, moms, dads, kids, families, small businesses, big businesses, governments and anyone else I left out.
What you see at CES is an overwhelming amount of technology and it really can give you a headache just seeing how much technology is out there and knowing that this is just scratching the surface.
Many of you view technology as a necessary evil. You have to have computers to be more efficient. You must use email as it’s the way we all communicate. And you simply MUST have a Twitter profile and Facebook page even though you may have no clue what to do with these profiles.
Stop letting technology be a headache for you and instead, leverage technology as an investment in your business. Instead of letting it be an annoying and confusing part of doing business, allow it to be a critical asset that helps you do more with less, save time, boost production, enhance customer service, save money and beat your competition.
How can you allow technology to be an investment in your business and take the pain away from running your business?
- Wherever you find repetitive and manually intensive tasks, see if there is a way that technology can help. For example, maybe during your hiring process you are manually sorting the incoming resumes. Stop doing this. Let applicants submit their resumes through a form that will help you to automatically sort and catalog each one as they come in.
- If you find that you are often not able to see insight into what your employees, consultants and teams are or are not doing use project or task management software. I’ve found that just signing up for this software or service is not enough you must work with your employees to ensure they are using it and using it properly.
- Training is an important part of using technology. You’ll find that you and your employees are at all different levels of technology knowledge. Some are very nervous of technology and double click on web site links, for example. Most of you know they just require one click. Others have created their first Facebook page, but have not yet figured how to import live RSS feeds. While yet others are very advance. For those who are a bit afraid of technology, train them. Services like Grovo help online professionals know more about technology.
- Always evaluate the hardware you have and test it out. For example, just because everybody is raving about the iPad does not mean it’s for you. Maybe you need the Samsung Tab or Galaxy Streak, for example. Maybe people you know are putting down netbook computers, but it might just be the perfect tool for you.
The benefit of events like CES are that since there is so much echnology, instead of being headaches, to the contrary, they are a source of inspiration, showcasing the breadth of choices available to small businesses.
Maybe you can’t get to CES, ensure you make time in your schedule to attend a few events focused on or that have technology for small businesses.
The New York Times has their annual Small Business Summit in the Fall. The Sixth Annual Small Business Summit takes place in New York in March. In Cleveland, COSE organizes the Small Business Conference. Also, SCORE the SBA and your local chamber all produce great events focus on helping your business grow, most all of them touch on technology to some degree.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can begin to leverage technology to boost your boost in 2011.
Image credit: Morten Rand-Hendriksen