Keeping Your Business Up To Date Without Understanding Tech

Technology has proven to be a major dividing factor for many people in the modern world. Some people hate the machines which they have to use each day, finding it difficult to understand how to operate them. Others, though, will have a much firmer grasp of their devices, and won’t struggle to get even the most complex tasks done on them. When you fall into the former, it can be a challenge to ensure that your business is always using cutting edge tech. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse, without having to learn about a field which you find boring and complicated.

 

The Right Kind Of News

One of the hardest parts of the tech industry is the media which comes with it. The largest technology sites in the world are operated by those who understand this world, and this means that articles are often written in a way which normal people don’t understand. By looking for examples which don’t fall into this trap, you can start to keep up with the latest advancements, while only learning about the benefits it could have for your business. Not only will this keep you ahead, but it will also make it much easier to talk to the techy people within your company.

 

Trust The Manufacturers

There are a lot of tech companies in the modern world, and many of them struggle to garner the trust of their customers. When an organisation like Apple or Samsung say they’re releasing something more powerful than ever, it makes sense to be skeptical, and they both have a history of misleading their customers. Business-facing options, like IBM and Dell, don’t need to rely on marketing tactics like this. Instead, by taking up a lease agreement with a company like this, you can have your business provided with the very best technology, without having to pay a small fortune for it.

 

Get Some Help

Of course, when you’ve got a lot of work on your plate, it makes sense that you would want to avoid learning about a field which doesn’t interest you, even in the smallest capacity. In this instance, getting some help can be a good idea. Companies don’t need to hire their own tech enthusiasts, nowadays, with loads of Proactive Business IT Solutions and Consulting available on the modern market. By using a company like this, you will be able to push your business forward with its devices, all without having to dive deeply into the subject. It always makes sense to read reviews before choosing a buisness like this.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of keeping your business on the bleeding edge of technology. There are new tools and devices coming out every year, with some holding the power to benefit your company to no end. You’ll only be able to take advantage of this with the right research and time, though, and this makes it worth starting as soon as you can.

 

3 Challenges Anyone Running A Business From Home Will Face

Developments in technology have meant that, for more and more people, running a business from home is now a viable proposition. No longer does owning a company mean renting premises and commuting to a second, business-dedicated location each morning; instead, your home becomes your office, and you can enjoy the benefits of setting your own schedule and working in an environment that is quite literally surrounded by home comforts. 

With that said, running a business from home is not necessarily plain sailing; it’s still a wonderful choice, but there will be the occasional challenges that rise up and need to be addressed. In this piece, we’ve identified three of the most common issues that home-based entrepreneurs face, as well as advice on how you can successfully find a way through…

 

#1 – Domestic needs bleeding into working hours

Spending time working away from home is an effective distraction from all domestic chores, responsibilities, and tasks on your to-do list; you literally can’t be distracted by these issues because you’re in a completely different physical location. However, when you’re working on your business from home, domestic necessities are ever-present, to the point where you find yourself cleaning the kitchen floor or repairing a leaky tap at 1.30pm. 

The conventional way to address this issue is to simply be disciplined; you work a full day, pausing only for lunch and short breaks, and your to-do list and other chores wait until you have finished for the day. However, you may find it easier to actually work in short blocks of two or three hours, then complete a chore, then go back to work – this may mean that you’re working a little later into the evening, but it does mean that when you finish for the day, everything (chores and professional tasks) is complete, so you can fully relax.

 

#2 – An excessive workload

Most – if not all – home-based entrepreneurs will, at least initially, be solely responsible for the running of their business, which inevitably means that they have to wear many hats. The entrepreneur has to be the customer service department, the receptionist, the financial analyst, and so much more, which can lead to a very heavy workload that results in many, many late nights and working weekends. Over time, the cumulative effect of so much work can result in the development of burnout and similar issues.

In a non-home-based business, the solution to this issue would often be to hire staff – but such an option is rarely viable with a home-based business, not least due to space constraints. However, you can still access the assistance your company needs by exploring options such as outsourcing financial management to accountancy firms, using the likes of virtual reception services to ensure all enquiries are dealt with in a timely and professional manner, and hiring customer service reps who work remotely rather than in-house; this should reduce the number of ‘hats’ you have to wear, and ensure your workload becomes more manageable. 

 

Challenge #3 – Feeling stir-crazy 

When you work from home, you will – of course – spend far more of your day in your own property. Most people tend to imagine that all those hours at home will be nothing but enjoyable; that they will work happily and more productively from their home environment, benefiting from the ability to relax and set their own working conditions in a way that simply isn’t possible in a conventional workplace. The reality, however, tends to be quite different; many people who work from home find themselves feeling a little “stir crazy” from time to time – and it’s easy to understand why, given that they are now spending all of their professional time and a significant amount of their personal time in the exact same space. 

The best way to address this issue is to spend more time outside of your home during the workday, simply taking your work with you if you find yourself needing a change of scenery. After all, running a business from home does not mean you always have to be at your home. You could take your laptop to a local cafe or coworking space for a few hours, or go for a walk around your local neighborhood while you mull over a business decision you need to make or listen to messages from your clients. 

 

In conclusion

Running a home-based business can cause a few potential challenges, but the advice above should help you to find a way through each issue so that you can instead focus on all the benefits of running a business from your own home. 

 

How to Manage Your Business’ IT

All businesses are reliant on IT to some extent. IT is the best way to collate and analyze business information, it keeps your website up and running and makes customer service much easier. The better your IT system, the more efficient you will be, the more profit you are likely to make and the smoother your business will run. But given all of this and the high responsibility that comes with IT management, what is the best way to manage your systems? 

Outsource to a Specialist

IT is a pretty broad term for a whole heap of different functions. This means that while you might find plenty of IT companies advertising, not all will be suitable for your needs. Some IT companies specialize in particular industries. So, you can see more about an IT company specializing in education but you could also find IT companies for manufacturing, marketing or any number of other industries.

The benefits of outsourcing to a specialist is that they will be familiar with your industry’s requirements and may even be able to suggest ideas you’ve not heard before. Specialists are also more likely to be able to tailor their services to your exacting needs. 

Find a Freelancer

If you just need some help setting up and occasional project work, you might benefit from hiring a freelancer. The main benefits of hiring a freelancer are obvious: you don’t need to worry about paying a salary or any maintenance to keep the company’s services. Freelancers are also more likely to go for casual work so could easily do an afternoon as and when you need. 

Freelancers often work within a network so you may find that one good freelancer can lead to another, allowing you to experiment with other services. Working with freelancers is a brilliant way to facilitate growth in this way as you can work on short-term projects first before committing yourself to the investment.

Train an Employee

If your tech is central to your business, you might be better off training an employee to manage your IT needs or even hiring someone specifically for the job. Even if your employee only works on your IT part time, this can be a good investment, especially if you have other functions to fulfill such as office management or digital marketing. 

It’s a good idea to provide on the job training for all your employees on a range of subjects but IT is particularly useful. If your employees can deal with some of the more basic problems themselves, you won’t waste any time waiting for a call out or an appointment with a company. The more skills your employees have, the more efficient they are likely to be and the more value they can bring to their role so it really is a win for everyone. 

Whatever you do, you must ensure that someone is looking after your IT needs. Leaving your IT unattended is very likely to lead to problems from viruses to security risks. Keeping all your soft and hardware up to date is essential maintenance and shouldn’t be overlooked.