People start their own business in pursuit of a personal interest or passion — or so suggests IDC’s Tech‐Savvy Businesses Do It Better white paper, produced in association with Sage, which shows that half of small businesses (53%) are founded this way.
However, a closer look at the data tells an interesting story. It appears that the business owners who continue to be happy with their work are the ones who change and adapt. The report found that almost all (94%) tech-savvy businesses enjoy their work — but this falls by 31% when compared with businesses that continue to utilise traditional methods and practices.
More importantly, businesses willing to invest and commit to technology across all areas of the workplace not only experience the highest level of happiness in work but they also experience far greater levels of revenue growth and innovation.
As for why this is, it seems that using modern technologies in the workplace can be fun. It can also give business owners incredible insight into business performance, customer differences and where the opportunities are for improving the yield or turnover across the portfolio of products or services.
Above all, by automating many administrative tasks, tech-savvy businesses are able to communicate the passion — and this will always bring rewards.
Enhancing passion for your business
However, while technology can be used to reduce your admin overload, it’s a truly sublime business tool when it’s also used to further the passion that fires you — to magnify the things that you care about and that caused you to start a business in the first place.
Consider these following tips to keep the passion burning for your business:
1. Look around you
Put simply, look at the way others are using technology to communicate their own passions – especially those in the same industry or sector as you. If you know your competitors personally, you can literally look at how they use technology.
A somewhat less invasive method is simply to monitor discussion feeds on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
People are habitually keen to tell others about the technology they’re using (and some apps and services will identify themselves via a label if they post to social media on the user’s behalf). But on LinkedIn or Twitter, you might also find links to blog posts where people learn about the smartest tech tools and practices.
2. Connect with people
Passion burning in isolation is useless and it’s by connecting with people that you can communicate how you feel – and make best business use of what drives you.
This might be customers but it can also be suppliers or indeed anybody else you might encounter –such as thought influencers, the people who others look up to in order to discover important trends, concepts or nascent ideas.
3. Start simple
As the slogan goes, “There’s an app for that” – and in fact, there’s an app for just about everything nowadays. While it might be tempting to download or sign up to them all – the digital equivalent of jumping in at the deep end – you’ll very quickly find they add up to an overwhelming experience.
Apps or digital services can be like children or pets. For the best results, they require your attention – and will nag you via notification messages if you’re not giving them what they need. So, start with just one or at most two apps — and work to get good at it.
For example, if your research outlined above shows that LinkedIn is a natural outlet for your type of business, then ensure you get good at that before moving on to something like Instagram or Facebook.
Ensure the technology you embrace forms a core part of your business strategy across a number of months or years and include it in any goals you set.
You might set a goal for the degree of customer engagement you want to achieve across the entire business, for example, and might therefore include within that a figure for the average number of likes and shares your posts achieve when using social media apps.
If nothing else, this kind of planning will help avoid apps that might superficially appear useful but that actually have little if any business value.
4. Invest time
Although all technology has the goal of saving time and effort – which will free you to follow your passion within your business – most of them will need a little time upfront for you to learn their ways, and learn how to get the most out of them.
This is the point at which you’ll have to not just make time for the app or service but find a way of building it into your daily schedule. So be prepared to give the technology the benefit of the doubt, especially if you hit a difficult patch when you perhaps aren’t getting the immediate results you want.
Technology is not too different from employing people in that you need to be clear about what expectations you have for that role, and need to constantly measure and evaluate effectiveness, making changes and adaptations where necessary.
In summary, keep your eyes on the goal of communicating your passion and let that guide you in what you do and how much effort you invest in technology.
How is your firm using technology to keep the passion for your business alive? Let us know in the comments below.