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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 November 5, 2019

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

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            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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