I think it’s time for all business-owners to become technology enthusiasts. I realise that tech’s future is guaranteed with or without our local support (!), but that’s really my point. It’s an unstoppable force just like you so, stop grumbling, go with the flow and see where it takes you.
Technology is at the heart of streamlining your work processes for efficiency and, originally, this piece was going to be about the apps that I use to run my working life. Just the other day, I managed to install a new one, and get it working quite quickly. I was thrilled. Not because I’m terrible with tech, but because the app played nicely. I realised that I’d been holding my breath, waiting for it to ruin my day. Instead, both app and owner are doing very well.
That’s when I realised I needed to take a step back with this article. Instead of reviewing the best project management apps, I must first acknowledge that many business people are at best dismissive of technology; at worst, positively frightened of it. Yes, “frightened”.
The word ‘fear’ is a serious search term when it comes to describing the common attitude towards technology. And, with good reason. Tech creates as many problems as it solves. It often refuses to work, doesn’t always sync, and spends a lot of time doing its own thing. Instructions fall into two camps: sleep-inducing and the ‘On’ button. Then there’s the fear of being hacked…
I know. But what does it remind you of? What else is intensely worrying and infuriating but – when all goes well – gives you an adrenalin rush like no other? Running your own business! The difference is, we accept the grief associated with running a business. We refuse to give up on achieving that all important traction. When our technology goes wrong, however, we’re less tenacious. Gotta change that.
Tech is unbelievably frustrating and, like a business, it demands all your attention and patience. And then it will still go wrong. But (like your business) if you keep at it, learn what’s going wrong and find your own solutions, it’ll start to work in your favour. Most of the time. And that’s good enough.
Being frightened or wary of tech is a thing – but the good news is that it’s not an age thing. Being brought up with iPhones is no guarantee of tech confidence in the workplace. You get to be ‘good with tech’ by using and persevering with it. I meet people in their late 20s who haven’t a clue how to use Microsoft Teams, and wouldn’t recognise a dodgy email if it was titled ‘This Is A Dodgy Email’. They can, however, sell stuff on Vinted and post great videos on TikTok. Go figure.
I don’t need to understand the ins and outs of how my website works. I do need to know enough to discuss its performance with my developer. I know where my domains are held, how to access my Google analytics. And, if the latest upgrade of my iPhone reinstalls Siri, I know how to turn her off.
The bottom line is you can’t run a business without technology. In fact, you can only run a business with technology. Essentially, it’s how you save time and money in business.
So, I absolutely want you to get your VA to do your slide deck but not because you “can’t get on with PowerPoint”.
‘Useless with technology’? Let’s find you a different badge to wear with pride.