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Technology Is An Entrepreneur's Best Friend

Technology is a game-changer and for entrepreneurs, the game never looked so good. But how can you take advantage of low costs and level playing field to build a business from scratch?

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Technology is a game-changer and for entrepreneurs, the game never looked so good. But how can you take advantage of low costs and level playing field to build a business from scratch?

Opinions

Technology Is An Entrepreneur's Best Friend

Technology is a game-changer and for entrepreneurs, the game never looked so good. But how can you take advantage of low costs and level playing field to build a business from scratch?

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The concept of entrepreneurship has drastically changed over the past 200 years. Even in the last decade it has evolved considerably, with entrepreneurs continuing to play an important role in modern economies, and now more than ever, have learnt how essential it is to adapt in an uncertain world.

A lot of what has changed for entrepreneurs in the last decade has been brought about by improvements and innovations in technology. It has never been easier to purchase a domain name, create a own website and set up a myriad of online marketing channels to promote a business.

"We are starting to see a resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, with more start-up activity than ever before"

Nor has it been easier to find the educational resources that enable us to learn these things ourselves, or for such an affordable price. These are the opportunities that entrepreneurs even in the 1990s wouldn’t have believed possible.

Considering that entrepreneurs are the world’s change agents, their ability to respond to new opportunities is one of the key principals of how well an economy is thriving. Entrepreneurs continue to play a significant role as the generators of employment and income, driving innovation and growth.

As we emerge from the uncertainty of the recent financial crisis, we are starting to see a resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, with more start-up activity than ever before. Backed up by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that entrepreneurship worldwide has recovered from the recession, the growing start-up community has fostered a spirit of creativity and collaboration where everyone feels they can become a successful entrepreneur.

UK recession

Entrepreneurs have endured the recession and now the spirit of creativity is stronger than ever

Economies need more individuals realising that the way to get ahead in the business world is to get out there and take some risks, be courageous and make things happen. At AxiCom we are big fans of supporting start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses. They are the innovators, and innovation goes hand-in-hand with technological change. This is what really excites us and why we love to help take a brave start-up’s story to the world.

Technology really has opened the floodgates for entrepreneurs. The modern entrepreneur is naturally tech-savvy, and knows how to use the technology available to them, paving the way for a more productive and cost-efficient business.

We can now do in seconds what used to take months. Trade and contracts can operate in a few clicks of a mouse, or a few touches on a screen. Technology is also helping diversify a range of business endeavours, and operate them simultaneously.

And the playing field has never been more level. Cost of entry for start-ups is at an all-time low and even funding is accessible through the popularity of crowdfunding websites such Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe, as well as the rise of angel investors.

Costs are down and the playing field is level

According to Crowdsourcing.org $5.1 billion in revenue for start-ups was raised in 2013, up from $1.5 billion in 2011. There is no doubt we will continue to see barriers for start-ups lowered by new technology in the future.

Cloud computing is another cost-saving tech innovation, allowing businesses to operate online without having to maintain their own servers, routers or invest in other expensive hardware. The Cloud has revolutionised how companies can operate, especially those just starting out on their journey to business success.

Sharing data, improving customer service and generally making traditionally painstaking administrative tasks far less arduous at any time, from anywhere are the Cloud’s main selling points. This includes things like accounting software, for example QuickBooks or Xero, to get a real-time view of finances, faster bill collection, better inventory control, tighter expense management and improving cashflow across locations and time zones.

Apps such as Basecamp – a project management app which means everyone in the business can access a virtual office and organise projects, allocate roles and tasks from anywhere – and OneDrive, where businesses can store and access files without expensive servers, are both good examples of cloud-based apps championing greater flexibility for entrepreneurs.

This also leads to other opportunities entrepreneurs are capitalising on such as shedding physical offices and setting up virtual offices, complete with ‘office managers’ and a brick and mortar address. Today, any SME or start-up can look every bit as big as a big business, and at only a slice of the cost.

The internet has been a fantastic leveller, giving small businesses access to global markets and cheaper ways of professionalising their image, enhancing efficiency and serving customers more easily. For example, web-based tools like voice-over-internet protocol - which will change the way you think about long-distance phone calls - uses the internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls.

This means clients can call a number that is answered by a receptionist who will then transfer the caller to you even if all three parties are in different locations and bypassing the hefty charges put in place by your typical phone company.

One of the biggest opportunities that entrepreneurs didn’t have decade ago which has completely changed the ways in which we do business is social media. Inherently, business is based on social interactions and networking, so Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus and a plethora of others are throwing traditional marketing out the door and giving entrepreneurs fast and direct access to their target customer.

So many successful start-ups have been based on clever social media use and I don’t have to tell entrepreneurs that social media has been a true blessing for starting and growing businesses.

Needless to say a global entrepreneurial revolution is taking place because the global technological revolution is the engine that is making it so. The bottom line is that it is the greatest time ever in the history of the planet, to be an entrepreneur.

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Technology Is An Entrepreneur's Best Friend

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