The first step in setting up and getting in control of our businesses is understanding our framework: the infrastructure, the industry, the competitors, the value proposition, the team and logistics.
The beauty of technology, although it also comes with its own set of requirements, is that it spans across and contributes to all these elements of business. But to really get the most out of technology requires investment. It requires our precious time as well as financing. But if we invest smartly, it will inevitably power up and transform our businesses.
Most importantly, is understanding what technology and tools are available and how they affect and benefit our business. In the sea of information that’s available, this can be challenging and easily overlooked. The purpose of the Powering Women in Business event is to bring this dialogue and understanding to the forefront; to see what technology is available, what entrepreneurs are using to mobilise and sustain their businesses, and what’s best and can be adopted for within our own businesses.
We asked Wendy Kerr, Corporate Crossover researcher and business coach, to share what the most common IT pitfalls are for Women in the Corporate Cross over.
Wendy talks about the technology trap – the myth we need to implement by ourselves. Leveraging technology doesn’t mean we have to implement by ourselves, it’s about being equipped with the right understanding to make the best decisions for our businesses – whether that’s learning new skills, sourcing new software or putting the expertise and tools in place.
The Technology Trap
by Wendy Kerr
It’s 3pm. Your printer isn’t talking to your computer. The big client pitch is in one hour and you need 30 minutes to get ready. Stress levels rise and you long to call the IT help desk. Except, you left that behind, when you departed from your corporate life to that of an entrepreneur, and became a Corporate Crossover.
Sadly the scenario above is all too common for Corporate Crossovers. Research I conducted among 300 women who left their jobs to start their own businesses, discovered that the IT Help desk and infrastructure was something they all missed about their previous lives. Yet without the low cost and relatively easy technology solutions we enjoy today, many of us would not have created the businesses we now have. We can create our own websites, connect virtually with clients and teams globally, and market ourselves to the world.
The accessibility of all types of technology solutions can be a blessing and a curse. We have the ability to make our small business run from the kitchen table appear to be a global player, all at the click of a button. Yet many of us succumb to the temptation to do it all ourselves. It is a technology trap.
Being intimately involved in the technology can be a curse and a huge hidden cost of running our business. Because we think when we do something ourselves, it is free. Or because we haven’t paid someone else to do it, we assume we are saving our business money.
This is a fallacy. A myth that many of us our run our businesses by. We think that when we spend time updating our website, or figuring out the intricacies of moving to the cloud, or a new service, this is a cheaper option than outsourcing it to an expert. The cost is an opportunity cost of our time. As business owners, we must spend our time adding real value to our business, actively involved in tasks to grow it, generating new opportunities and prospects. Spending time on these activities is guaranteed to generate a positive return on investment. Yet when we spend time in the detail of running our business, including implementing the latest IT innovations, we aren’t adding value. We are spending our precious time keeping the business ticking over. And worst still, often when we try and complete these supposedly easy IT tasks, they can end up frustrating us, causing us emotional angst and losing us precious time and energy. We can end up resenting our businesses instead of loving them and enjoying spending time on them.
This is the trap of technology, thinking we can do it ourselves, but if we had outsourced it to an expert, it would have ultimately cost us less, not only in emotional frustration but also in the opportunities missed for our businesses. Next time you want to upgrade, or try a new technology, ask your self “am I really the best person to be implementing this?” or could I invest my time in adding value to my business and outsource this to an expert? Time is the most precious resource a business owner has. It is finite; once it’s gone it’s gone, so ensure you spend it wisely
About Wendy Kerr:
Wendy is the founder of Corporate Crossovers and is passionate about working with women who leave their jobs to set up their own business, at any stage of their journey. Offering coaching, mentoring and workshops, Wendy is an expert on women entrepreneurs and the support they need, having a deep understanding and experience of why women leave the workplace and the highs and lows of running your own business.
Wendy has had over 18 years’ experience in senior corporate roles around the world, and for the last ten years has been working with clients to help them achieve their goals and thrive. She has worked with hundreds of business owners and a range of corporate clients globally including IBM, Expedia, ACCA, and The Economist.
Visit www.Corproatecrossovers.com for your free e-book on “How to Make the Money You’re Worth” if you have your own business. If you are still thinking of leaving, there is a great self-assessment tool, to check how ready you are to leave your job and start up your business. Wendy also offers a free consultation for her coaching and mentoring.