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5 Small Business Tech Tips To Boost Your New Venture

5 Small Business Tech Tips To Boost Your New Venture
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We live in an era when anybody with a little money and a big idea can carve out a successful business. While not every new business will survive, there are some simple techniques that can be utilized to make the most of your money, resources, and time.

When it comes to managing the tech side of your new venture, you should definitely keep these tips for starting a small business in mind.

1. Store data in the cloud to reduce IT overhead

When you’re starting out, you want to keep costs low. A great way to save money on IT costs is by using cloud storage instead of a physical server.

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Cloud storage is particularly well suited to small businesses, and you can easily keep track of your spending as you will only ever be charged for the space you use. Best of all, cloud storage doesn’t require the same IT capacity or expertise, so you won’t need to hire an entire IT team. Just be aware that as you expand, you may need to spend more or make the switch to a dedicated server.

2. Research the best business broadband deal

Whether you work from a digital home office or sell physical goods from a brick and mortar store, a good business broadband deal is essential.

The best restaurant booking apps and inventory management software is cloud-based now, so connectivity is key! Most business packages offer priority service as a standard, meaning your providers are obliged to get your connection up and running ASAP if something goes wrong. You’ll also want to look for a deal that offers optimum speeds for your area, as well as a comprehensive security package.

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Whether you’re based in the US or the UK, you will find a range of useful sites out there that offer business broadband price comparison services. Make sure you read the small print in your contract before signing up, so that you know this is definitely the right option for your business.

3. Be realistic about your social media presence

You may have big plans for the marketing side of your business, but just remember that less can be more when it comes to social media. If you don’t have the time or resources to commit to maintaining several accounts, just stick to one or two. A single Twitter account that’s updated several times a day and has a healthy following is far more valuable than a trio of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts which were last updated six months ago.

Ideally, you’ll hire someone to manage your communications in the future. But when you’re starting out, stick to one channel and do it justice. And don’t forget that scheduling tools like Hootsuite can seriously optimize your time.

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4. Plan your website’s purpose and structure

To make the most of your website, think of it as an extension of your real-world business. It should use the same tone of voice and branding so that when any visitor ends up on your site, they can quickly grasp its purpose within seconds. It’s also important for the user journey to be clear and straightforward.

Try it out yourself — how many tabs or buttons do you have to click to engage with the service? Don’t forget that the average person only has an attention span of eight seconds, so you need to grab them quickly!

5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

In 2015, Google made a big change to its algorithms, meaning they now prioritize mobile-friendly websites in the rankings. Give your website a real chance on the search engine results page by making changes that streamline it for mobile and tablet technology.

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Key features of a mobile-friendly site are a simple design, fast loading speeds, and mobile-optimized features such as “click-to-call” buttons. If in doubt, opt for a mobile-responsive design when building your site.

Lastly, don’t forget that the specific needs of every business are different. Spend some time deciding which tech hacks will benefit your site the most and don’t rush into anything you can’t easily reverse.

Interested in learning more about useful apps for promoting your startup? Take a look at our article on 10 must-have marketing tools!

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Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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5 Small Business Tech Tips To Boost Your New Venture

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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