Though it’s not impossible, it’s highly improbable that you will find business success without relying on a handful of technologies. Software is becoming more complex every minute, providing businesses specialized resources for particular processes. Conducting business “the old-fashioned way” without devices and apps is inviting unnecessary risk through your front door.
The business world moves at the speed of the internet ― which is to say absurdly fast ― and if you don’t use tech, your business will lag behind its tech-savvy competition. However, having tech is useless if you don’t understand how to use it. Before you open your doors, you should spend some time becoming familiar with necessary tech and gaining the following essential business tech skills.
Have you already decided what business you want to start? Take this quiz if you need help choosing a great business idea.
The good news is you probably don’t need to invest in phones. The bad news is you must become a whiz at communicating through email. It only takes a few hours for an inbox to become unmanageably full, and it only takes a few misplaced commas for your message to be misread. Though you might think you have mastered the art of email, you might double-check your communication competency with your regular correspondents before you start your business.
Nearly all of Microsoft Office is useful in a business setting, but Microsoft Excel is definitely the most applicable to the entrepreneur. You will soon use spreadsheets to organize everything from budgets to projects, saving you (and eventually your team) precious time and energy better devoted to other activities, like expanding your business.
Social media isn’t just a teen’s time-waster ― it is an essential marketing tool that all burgeoning businesses must use to grow an audience. You don’t have to be a Facebook guru or Twitter ninja, but you should be competent on the major social networking sites. You can use a tool like Hootsuite to manage your social media campaigns and remove some of the strain of being social.
No matter how innovative your product is, you won’t win your consumers’ hearts unless you have excellent design skills. As demonstrated by the continuing supremacy of Apple products, design matters, and sometimes it can matter more than the functionality of the product itself. Before you let your products loose on the market, you should spend some time tinkering with design.
Thanks to big data, modern businesses thrive on a glut of numbers. However, you won’t be able to do anything with those numbers unless you have mastered the science of analysis. There are a few online analytics tools, like these, to manage the more complex analyzing tasks, but knowing how to alter your business based on data is a vital skill.
6. Cloud Computing
To compete on the market, some of your business processes must take place on the cloud. Unfortunately, if you are an entrepreneur of the old school, you might not know where or what that is. Cloud computing is becoming an essential tech skill, so it might behoove you to pick up some knowledge about the cloud.
At its most fundamental level, wireframing is simply understanding the processes required to build something in tech, like a website or an app. More often, wireframing is outlining the scope of the project. In both cases, wireframing is a skill you need, as being able to communicate your needs and wants with your tech team is an invaluable skill.
Yes, coding is the thing programmers do to create software. Yes, your eventual IT team should be adept at coding. However, it is outstandingly helpful for entrepreneurs to understand the basics of coding (at the very least) so they have a better grasp on what is possible and plausible in their tech. Plus, basic coding skills will help you DIY some simple tech solutions without hiring outside help.
Writing has always been and will always be a necessary skill to run a business, but now that business runs on tech, it is even more crucial that you hone your writing abilities. Specs are incredibly dense documents with unique verbiage, and being fluent in the writing style your tech team is familiar with will make everyone’s job easier.
Jackie Roberson is a content coordinator and contributor who creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the Internet community.