Seen from a distance, technology can look daunting, today more than ever. For people who didn’t grow up with the Internet, terms such as cloud computing, managed hosting solutions, or software as a service can sound unfriendly and discouraging. But whether you’re 20 or 60, technology is the same for everyone, and it’s not just convenient, but approachable. Technology isn’t something built by and reserved for the young, but a powerful business tool that 50 or 60-something entrepreneurs can wholeheartedly embrace.
The Benefits of Technology
Technology can automate repetitive tasks, empower easy file sharing and collaborations regardless of distance, increase the reach of marketing beyond anything that traditional marketing can offer, and help an entrepreneur get more work done faster.
Beyond the complexity of its workings, much of technology that an entrepreneur can use is accessible and user-friendly because tech and software companies know everyone can benefit from it.
As an entrepreneur, you will be more interested in some technologies than in others, as they can have a direct impact on how you do business. Here are some of the technologies that can help you work more effectively:
- Office programs that run on computers or mobile devices, such as word processors or tools that help you create and manage spreadsheets, presentations, or do math
- Collaborative tools such as conference software, including audio and video conference applications that run over the Internet
- Inventory management tools, accounting software, sales and marketing software that essentially digitize traditional business records
- Email services and programs, including automated email marketing tools that enable you to reach a wider audience without having to manually send thousands of email
- Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, when used for marketing purposes
- Websites where you can hire freelancers to work alongside your employees on specific projects, or handle website design, online marketing, and more. Known as outsourcing, this enables you to get specific work done without having to recruit additional staff and can reduce costs.
Making the First Step
As a 50 or 60-something entrepreneur, you may not know where to start with technology. You probably have a mobile phone and use a computer, but beyond that you may not feel as confident as the younger generations. But all you have to do is get started.
Trust me, I feel your pain. My husband had to drag me kicking and screaming to get me away from my typewriter to move to the computer to use email. Once I got the hang of it, I wondered why I didn’t start earlier.
From website design and email marketing to file storage, from outsourcing to collaborations, technology comes with step by step guides, video presentations and tutorials, vibrant communities of users, and some form or other of customer support.
Once you understand the distinction between hardware (the components of a computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other device) and the software (the code or rule-based digital programs used by these devices), it’s easy to understand that today’s technology consists of different combinations of hardware and software.
Another reason to embrace technology is that tech savvy people are everywhere, in and out of your company. Employees, children, grandchildren grew up with digital technology in all its many variations and they’re always ready to showcase just how much they know. But assistance is not always necessary. For 50 or 60-something entrepreneurs with a willing-to-learn attitude, technology demystifies itself, proceeding in logical sequences that makes hands-on experience the easiest way to learn.
The bottom line is simple: technology can help your business grow. It’s for everyone, regardless of age, and it requires a bit of time to acquire the technical knowledge, yet it is doable. Personally, I use to be technophobic, however I knew that technology was going to be the key to scaling my business. I now have what I call ‘technology Tuesday’ where I dedicate time to learn something new related to cloud applications or apps.
Embracing technology as a 50 or 60-something entrepreneur isn’t only productive, but it’s easier than it sounds. The key is to just take a deep breath and dive in.