Entrepreneurs lead busy lives. They need a wide range of skills and knowledge to tackle their daily to-do list. This includes a solid communications arsenal, social network profiles, a website and a professional email hosting service with a custom domain. However, these things only form the foundation of an entrepreneur’s tech toolbox. The real work begins after the Google Voice account is configured, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages have been created, and the website is in place. From there, it’s important for entrepreneurs to have tools that will help them improve their code literacy, track the time they’re spending on projects, manage their notes, simplify graphic design and maintain their mailing list.
Today, every business uses software in some way. They may have a website, smartphone app or just an office suite they use for bookkeeping. When these businesses want their software to include new features or functionality they have three choices: Either wait for someone to develop what they want, pay someone a lot of money to develop it for them or get started writing their own code. Entrepreneurs tend to use one of the last two options because waiting for someone to develop a solution to their problem is not in their nature.
It does not matter if an entrepreneur hires someone to create software for them or if they choose to do it on their own, either way it’s important to have some understanding of computer programming. Code literacy can help entrepreneurs negotiate contracts for software development or create the minimum viable product that will get their business off the ground. There are many opportunities to learn computer programming online, so there’s no excuse for being code illiterate.
Sometimes entrepreneurs work from their laptop in a coffee shop, sometimes they’re at their desktop in the office and still other times their computer is nowhere to be found — but they have their smartphone close at hand. This is why it’s so important to find a time tracking solution that will run on multiple devices and synchronize that data back to the cloud. Toggl is just such a program and their service integrates with many of the most popular customer relationship management and invoicing programs on the market. This makes it very easy for entrepreneurs to keep track of their time and invoice clients accordingly.
Similar to the time tracking problem, entrepreneurs never know when the next piece of useful information will pop into their world. They could be at their laptop, desktop or out exploring the world with their phone. Additionally, the notes we find in the world today can come in the form of written text, images and sounds. Evernote has been the go-to app for note-taking for some time now and it continues to meet the needs of most entrepreneurs. Notes can be collected using any device and stored in the cloud for future retrieval.
Unless you’re a graphic artist by trade, graphic design can be a little scary. While no application can replace a true graphic designer, there are some things that can be done to make everyday graphics just a little better. Just knowing that social media posts with graphics receive more clicks is enough to motivate any entrepreneur to improve their graphic design skills. One of the best tools for this job is Canva, an easy to use design studio on the web. The drag-n-drop interface makes it easy to design good looking graphics and share them on a website, social media or email.
The most valuable resource any entrepreneur has is their mailing list. This is the conduit through which they can raise funds for new ventures, drive sales for new products and spread the word about new services. MailChimp makes it easy to build a mailing list and create an email marketing campaign.
These tools can help any entrepreneur take charge of their business and work smarter. With just a handful of applications, we’ve covered computer programming, time keeping, notes, graphic design and mailing lists. The entrepreneur tech toolbox is starting to fill up.
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