16 Technology Must-Haves for Small Business in 2016

Automate your small business in 2016

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Being a small business owner is hard, especially if you do most or all of the work yourself.  But small business is still the driving force of the US economy.  According to Forbes, over 50% of the US population works for one of the 28 million domestic small businesses.  In addition, 52% of small businesses are home based.  But it sure does seem hard to compete with the “goliath” organizations in business even when you have a better product.  The best way to compete is doing exactly what big corporations do: automate daily processes that waist your valuable time using the items from the following checklist.

In case you are new to this site, my Small Busy-IT blog posts are specifically designed to make technology simpler for small business.  Whether you hate technology or consider yourself a techno-geek, I’m starting this post assuming you have no knowledge of technology and making sure your business has covered the basics in 2016.

Take a minute to pretend you haven’t even opened the doors of your business and you are deciding how you should use technology to reach new customers and drive revenue.  Also keep in mind that whatever you learned five years ago is most likely out-of-date so we’ll start with what works today in 2016 knowing you’ll need to revisit this subject every year for the rest of your business life.

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Progression

One second… I’m receiving an ESP message from you.  To answer your thought, yes it is very frustrating navigating so much change in technology.  I have professionally lived this change in technology for 16 years, personally lived it since age 7 using gadgets and gizmos, and it still frustrates me daily due to rapid advancements.  But change will not stop.  If anything, it will progress especially as mobile adoption accelerates.  That’s why you need to find a good expert to rely on who will keep you in sync with advancements because you can NOT avoid technology.  Outsourcing is an option, but ignoring could result in the loss of your business.

Finally – The List

Here are the items I’ll be covering over the next few blog posts.  Any new or existing small business must have the following in 2016:

  1. Buy your business domain name (aka: your dot com name)
  2. Create your online presence with social media
  3. Make a cell phone your primary business phone number
  4. Gmail-Enable your private email address
  5. Determine whether or not you will sell your product or service on the internet
  6. Plan your full circle techno-marketing cycle
  7. Choose a website host based on your needs (AWS expansion vs HostGator)
  8. Do NOT buy a server – Do buy a mobile device
  9. Secure your mobile device
  10. Secure your business or home internet to avoid hacks
  11. Go OpenOffice
  12. Get your books in order “accounting” for everything
  13. It’s time to float in the cloud
  14. Work out your workflow
  15. P&L Monthly
  16. Electronically plan your maintenance

First amateur radio repeater being sent to space

satToday in News You Can’t Use! This really is an impressive feat although ham radio is not near as popular as it once was.

“It was recently announced that researchers at the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology, part of Virginia Tech University are preparing to send an amateur radio transponder into a geosynchronous orbit in 2017.”

Take a look at the full article at this link:
http://www.kb6nu.com/first-amateur-radio-geosynchronous-satellite-launch-2017/

Automate with Lean IT

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I’m just over 15 years into my electronic workflow automation career, and I still find myself learning something new daily. The most important concept I have come across during that time involves the molding of IT processes around Toyota Production System theology (TPS) which is more commonly referred to as Lean.

I’ll return to the techniques of Lean IT processes in future posts, but the key to Lean IT is using humans and their skills wisely by replacing monotonous tasks with technology. The Lean philosophy has many times been referred to as a cost cutting measure, but Lean is not synonymous with getting rid of employees. It’s the exact opposite. It means using employees where they are most efficient and happy, in turn, most profitable.

Lean methodology involves reviewing current human work processes to find wasted time in workflow.  Any wasted time found results in the re-aligning of staff to exclude wasted time.  The merging of Lean with IT fills wasted time with technology to automate processes where humans aren’t needed.  This frees up humans to use both skills and creativity in much more effective ways.

This Automate.News section of this site is based on these concepts along with Six Sigma.  You may wonder how this theology even relates to IT, but you’ll soon understand how it’s related and why it should be implemented the first day your business breathes the word technology.

Want to learn, or should I say, Lean more?  Stay tuned and read future posts as I delve into the world of technological automation.