Educate Yourself About Technology and Watch Productivity Increase

Ramon Ray discusses how to better understand and use technology to grow your business.

MouseEducate Yourself About Technology and Watch Productivity Increase 

By Ramon Ray

One of the biggest challenges small businesses face in using technology is the lack of education and understanding in how to use it as a tool to grow their businesses.  

It is so important to know cash flow, marketing, HR and a bit of law and of course you must know the product or service you are selling. However, one thing I often see lacking are business owners who are willing to educate themselves, even just a bit, in how to use technology, including social media tools better.  

Dedicate a few hours a week to two things a) learn about new technology b) learn how to better use the technology you have.  

Although technology, over the years, has gotten easier to use, much of the technology we use on a daily basis is still confusing or at most takes too long to figure it out, causing frustration for many business professionals.  

Education should not just start or stop with you, the business owner, but it’s also important to institute a strategic plan of action to ensure your employees are trained in the technology they use on a daily basis and given opportunities to learn more about the technology they might be interested in. 

Here’s a few ideas for you:  

1. Sign up for online (or computer based training – CBT) courses that can be offered online, through the internet, or through software installed on your computer. These training programs can track your progress and allow you to learn about technology at your own pace and in your own time. 

2. You might also want to consider hiring a personal trainer (or technology training firm) who can provider personalized training to you or your staff. 

3. Your local chamber and other professional organizations have regular events dedicated to technology – attend them. Some of these events are free (or low cost for members). 

4. Reading can be a quick and easy to get educate yourself about a variety of technologies. You won’t be a guru about email marketing or web site design by reading a few magazines, but over time, you’ll pick up insight and information about these and other technologies that can further help your business.  

As you consider what training to invest time (and money) in, consider your day to day technology usage. If you’re using QuickBooks or Sage Peachtree a lot, you might want to take advanced courses in how to use these financial management tools better.  

Maybe social media is very important to you and you know you’re not getting enough out of social media. Consider taking a day long online marketing course, with a social media track.  

What about mobile technology. All of us know how to place calls on our cell phones and download apps on our smartphones. However, there is so much more you can do on a smartphone. It might be useful to sit down with your local IT consultant (assuming they are experts in mobile technology) to help you navigate through the powerful tool you have.  

Some technologies are great to know about, but you should not take the time to be an expert in. For example, securing your networking is something best left to true experts in technology. Although you and your staff should be aware of how best to protect your infrastructure, security takes years of expertise and continuous training to properly implement.  

Summary 

Technology can be challenging and confusing, however, if you take the time to educate yourself (and your employees) you’ll find that you overall productivity, time saved, and customer satisfaction will increase.  

Want to try this in your business? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!

About the Author

Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist of Smallbiztechnology.com is an author, speaker and event producer. Visit Smallbiztechnology.com for insight and information to help you use technology as a tool to grow YOUR business. Upcoming events include the Fall 2011, Five City - Small Business Technology Tour - http://www.smallbiztechtour.com