7 Technical Skills you need to Startup and become a Small Business Owner
1) Website Building & SEO, 2) Email Marketing, 3) Social Media Management Tools, 4) CRM Software, 5) Accounting SW, 6) Mobile Payment Processing and Security, 7) Project Management SW.
Where? Budding technologists often turn to a computer science program, coding boot-camp or certification program to learn essential skills. But say you want to start a small business, or open a retail business. You’ll still need tech skills to keep the operation running efficiently and on budget.
$$$. More than half (54 %) of small businesses plan to increase spending in technology, according to research firm SMB Group. Although small-business owners need not be advanced technologists, they require an understanding of the core tools to run their business.
Lots of Techies. “A lot of small businesses are now partly or holy (no, wholy) a tech business,” says James Bergin, Executive GM of technology strategy & integration at Xero Tech. “It may not be in the business of technology, but it has to be leveraging technology to be able to succeed.” Before, you had to have a physical server. Now the cloud takes care of many capabilities required for small-business owners, he noted. Cloud providers allow small-business owners to assemble and iterate on a Tech stack without deep technical knowledge.
“In a small business, consider what services you are offering and how automating that work with software can help”, advises Laurie McCabe, Co-Founder & Partner at SMB Group (R&D for Small & Medium Business). McCabe sees small-business owners taking an interest in learning areas such as Analytics & SEO, but they often don’t have the time to go deep into many tools.
Help !!! “In small business you have to wear a lot of hats, but you also have to know when you think you want to get somebody that has a hat already and wears it really well,” McCabe said. “Have them help you if you can.”
How you learn the skills you need depends on the business problem you’re trying to solve, according to Bergin of Zero Tech. Some business owners may choose to learn in a community or through resources like LinkedIn Learning or Coursera. Others may learn by listening to a Podcast. Also consider Certification programs in the areas you’re looking to learn.
Need? “It’s really for a small-business owner to try and figure out how much they need to know to solve the problem for the customer,” Zero’s Bergin said. Here are some key areas to explore as a small-business owner:
#1. Website Building & SEO
“Establish an online presence [Website], where you can highlight the products and/or services you offer and how people can contact you”, McCabe said. “That will require learning some basic tools for creating a Website, such as WordPress.
“It doesn’t have to be a intimidating thing, and you don’t have to be a programmer to do that,” McCabe said. “However, as you get into E-commerce, you may want to hire a programmer”.
APIs.As you build a website, you’ll also want to learn how Application Program Interfaces (APIs) work to connect the various tools you need. The Postman API development tool lets users build, test & edit APIs. “Get to know the platforms you use and then what connections or integrations there are to others – that would make your life easier or better,” Bergin said.
SEOs. You’ll also want to explore Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – which lets you make changes to your Website so it ranks higher on Google. Top SEO tools include Moz, SpyFu & Semrush.
#2. Email Marketing
“Email marketing lets small businesses distribute information, promotions and periodic newsletters to customers. Email marketing is an effective way to nurture relationships with potential leads”, McCabe said, “noting that new small-business owners can learn intuitive tools like MailChimp.
#3. Social Media Management Tools
Consider using Social Media Management Tools (SMMTs), which let users manage their profiles across multiple networks. The best are Zoho Social, Hootsuite & Sprout Social.
- Zoho Social is a good fit for individual creators, while . . .
- Hootsuite is ideal if you use many platforms.
- SproutSocial is a resource – especially for analytics,
according to Forbes Advisor.
#4. CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a must-have tool for small-business owners looking to organize customer contacts. On services like LinkedIn Learning you’ll find several courses on how to learn CRM tools. The top low-cost CRM for small business are Sales ForcePipe Dr or Monday.
#5. Accounting Software
Small-business owners can use an app like QuickBooks or Xero Tech to manage their Cash Flow. Or they can hire an Accountant -PT. “A lot of new startups go out of business because they can’t manage their Cash Flow well, and all of a sudden they’re belly-up,” McCabe said. “So that’s very critical.”
Many account applications cater to small-business owners who are not experienced accountants or bookkeepers. QuickBooks – by far- has the highest share among Machine Shops. “90-95%” said Peter Cikalo – ISO 9001 Consultant.
Xero Tech has an on-boarding process to provide guidance on how to use their products. After a customer is on-boarded, Xero provides tech support through Xero Central.
“Before you had to go and manage your own Ledgers, and the books were literally Accounting books,” Bergin said. “I think moving away from that to more of a cloud–based capability changes what’s that possible.”
#6. Mobile Payment Processing & Security
Small businesses often collect payments for their services using apps like Google Wallet or Venmo, so you’ll need to be up-to-date on how to use the latest mobile payment apps. Securing mobile payment solutions will be essential: “Study the basics about security and seek help from a managed service provider when it comes to protecting customer data”, McCabe advised.
“Unless security is your business, you’re not going to find that a fun area, and it’s so complicated, because it changes so much,” McCabe said. “So I say get help there.”
#7. Project Management Software
Tools like BaseCamp, Monday.com & Wrike let you collaborate among other stake-holders. Some apps like Wrike provide automation & analytics – as well as – time & budget tracking. Also, explore basic collaboration tools like Google Workspace or Zoho, McCabe said.
Comments:Do you know any other Tech Skills that a Startup Founder should have?
From DICE 2/3 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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