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5 Tech Skills Entrepreneurs Should Learn To Make Their Business More Competitive

5 Tech Skills Entrepreneurs Should Learn To Make Their Business More Competitive

To make a real go at it, entrepreneurs have to know a whole lot more than the business they’re entering. Skills with things like design software and an understanding of the web, the cloud and innovative marketing tactics are crucial for entrepreneurs who can’t afford to hire a whole staff right off the bat. Entrepreneurs everywhere, in every kind of business, should take note of these tech areas they need to be familiar with to compete in their markets.

1. Popular Workplace Software

Even though it’s often less efficient than the software most highly recommended on sites like Lifehack, you need to know all of the common types of software, whether you’re employees of a company or entrepreneurs of them. I was actually just tested on Microsoft Office for a job interview last week! It didn’t matter that I excelled at the superior Google Docs or that I was a master at Scrivener, a service which is at least as complicated and twice as useful. The only thing of import to those considering me for a position was that my skills with the inferior Microsoft World weren’t quite up to par. I know better now for next time.

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2. The Cloud

Since it’s where almost all data is going to end up eventually, you’re most definitely going to need to develop a mastery of the cloud. Whether that means utilizing popular services like Dropbox and Google Drive to share and collaborate on files, making use of innovative apps like Evernote and Trello to revolutionize your personal productivity or just learning how to keep your online files safe, getting a strong grasp of the cloud should be a high priority for entrepreneurs.

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3. Web Design

Sure, you can hire someone to design a website for you, but knowing the ins and outs of your web home is absolutely indispensable. A web designer won’t be on call 24/7 when you need to make a necessary change or add an update to your site, but you will be. Lynda.com is a powerful way to learn web design at your own pace for a far more reasonable price than you’d have to pay for in-person classes, adding tools to your toolkit that will help you better understand and utilize the world wide web.

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4. Graphic Design

One of the first thing prospective clients and customers notice when looking at your product is the design, which makes it paramount for you to know well. Even if you have no intentions of designing logos or flyers or e-books yourself, you need to at least have an eye for design so you know when someone you hired to do the work is actually committed to the project. Lynda.com is a wonderful resource for both web and graphic design – for learning both the fundamentals and advanced features of popular graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and more.

5. Social Media

Any entrepreneurs who think that social media is solely about instant messaging, photos of babies and what someone had for dinner needs a sharp knock to the head. Social media is becoming an increasingly important marketing tool for almost every kind of business. The only prerequisite for social media is for a company to want to build an audience, and you can’t make sales if there’s no one around to hear your sales pitch. Instead of hiring someone to handle Facebook, Twitter, etc., micro-businesses should have entrepreneurs who know how to make the best use of social media themselves, with apps like Hootsuite or Buffer. With the ability to manage social media and the other skills on this list, you’ll be off to a good start.

Featured photo credit: Trading stocks on a computer/OTA Photos via flickr.com

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More by this author

Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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