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5 Small Business Tech Tips To Boost Your New Venture

5 Small Business Tech Tips To Boost Your New Venture

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!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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