Entrepreneur and founder of Tech Ready Women, Christie Whitehill shares her top tips for making your business tech savvy.
1. BUILD A DIGITAL TOOL KIT
If you want to build a business in 2018, it’s more than likely you will be acquiring your customers online. Don’t know which channels your customers are on? You can do three things. Firstly, ask them. Set up some customer interview questions or create a survey using a tool such as Typeform to get their feedback. You’ll also want to find out where they are currently buying the products or services you’re wanting to offer and which channels they are using to learn about them.
2. GET CURIOUS ABOUT TECH
About half the world’s population (3.6 billion people) is spending 5.9 hours per day online, so the internet is not going away anytime soon. But you don’t necessarily need to build a custom website or app to have a business that is online. There are plenty of tools, apps and websites that will make your business tech savvy. If you want to talk to your customers in a more personal way, you can build your own chatbot on Facebook. If you need a personal assistant to schedule your meetings, there is a chatbot called Amy that can do that via email. If you are keen to take your store online, you can use out-of-the-box website builders such as Wix and Squarespace.
3. READ THE LEAN STARTUP
Gone are the days of creating 60-page business plans and keeping your business a secret until you launch. At Tech Ready Women, the organisation I founded to help female entrepreneurs, we follow what is called the Lean Startup approach, made famous by Eric Ries and his book The Lean Startup. It is built on the principle of a build, measure and learn feedback loop, which focuses on getting your product into the hands of your customers faster, to help save time and money spent building products and services people don’t want.
4. KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE PULSE
With the rise of technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation, most industries are ripe for disruption if they haven’t been already. People are problem solvers and we’re constantly coming up with ways to make things better, faster and stronger. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever for an everyday person to design a tech solution for their industry. Want to find ways to use tech in your field? Take notice of any apps and tools that are popping up that have made your life or job easier. Ask yourself if there’s a way you can automate some of the systems or processes. You never know, you could be sitting on the next million-dollar idea.
5. DON’T BE AFRAID OF START-UP BUZZWORDS
What do AI, Blockchain, MVP, Python, Java and Ruby stand for? They sound like some sort of snake, coffee and jewellery, right? Like most industries, jargon and buzzwords get thrown around quite a lot, and unless you’re on the inside you’ll have no idea what people are talking about. These terms and many more get used in the tech start-up world. If you’re hiring a developer to build your website and you don’t understand what they’re saying, don’t be afraid to ask them to explain. Knowledge is power, and when you’re forking out thousands of dollars for a website, you want to make sure you’re on the same page as your developer.
For more entrepreneurial advice, head to techreadywomen.com