36 – How You Can Evaluate Your Current Technology

Episode 36

Welcome to the official launch of season 2 of the Lydia G. Miller, MBA Podcast!

If you are new I want to say a special welcome to you and explain how the podcast is laid out.

The seasons for this podcast correspond with the classes that I took for my MBA. So last season was marketing and this season is technology. The next one will be either statistics, finance, economics, hr, leadership, accounting, ethics or communication. I haven’t decided yet. But each of these classes were so valuable to me as a business owner, and I want to apply them better to my business and the best way that I know how to do that is to teach the information with my own spin and find new ways to apply it to my service-based, home-based solopreneur business. The episodes will release each Friday and those will be the ‘teaching’ episodes and I will also release an episode every other Tuesday as a bonus episode. Those will have interviews, and power sheet updates and life updates and different lessons that I’m learning that I think will be valuable to share!

 

Let’s dive into today episode on why you should evaluate your current technology you’re using in your business.

When I start a new project, I like to go and buy things. When we moved into our new house, the first thing that I wanted to do was go to target and buy all kinds of bins for organizing our stuff and to make it look like The Home Edit. I had delusions of grandeur that I would unpack things straight into these uniform pretty bins and I would have it all done really quickly. That didn’t happen. It looks a lot like our old house with some new bins lying around.

I’m the same when it comes to my business. I get an amazing idea and I rush out and find something to buy whether it’s a course or a program to use and often I don’t need it or I need to consider more than one option.

We can get so wrapped up in our business that we forget to remember our goals and decide what we really need to get there. I’m finding more and more that the more I buy, the less likely I am to accomplish my goal because I am constantly learning new systems.

So first, before you start a project, think about the end. Think about what you want to accomplish with a new goal in your business. If you want to release a course, think about the client you want to impact.

Then, I want you to write out the technology you think you will need. If you’re releasing a course, you need something to design the slides, make the slides, record the audio, capture your screen, house the course, sell the course and deliver the course. That might seem like a lot, but you probably already have more than you realize. You probably can use a lot of Microsoft word applications to create and design the slides. You can use a program like Camtasia to capture the screen and ad $100 microphone to record the audio. Something like shopify can help you sell your course and you can use thinkific to house and deliver your course.

When I started created a course earlier this year, I signed up for all kids of trials of things that I thought I needed, but didn’t. I spent a lot of time learning the new programs and wasting time on that instead of actually creating the content, and you know what, my course isn’t finished yet.

So here are a few ways that you can evaluate your current technology to see if it’s helping or hindering your business.

1.       Do you know how to use it? Yes, do you know how to use the program fairly easily? Earlier this year, I signed up for adobe illustrator because I wanted something to create graphics in and that’s what the pros use. However, Illustrator is tricky to use and I finally had to ask a high school student for help because I was way over my head. I’m glad I learned, but I underestimated how much time it took to learn how to work illustrator.

2.       How much is it? How much money are you paying for this each month? If you don’t know, look at your bank statement and see how much money you’re paying. Better yet, hopefully it’s on your profit and loss and you can easily see how much you’ve paid this year for it. If you can’t do that, let me know and I can help you set up your bookkeeping better so you have a good idea of what you should have and how to set it up. If you’re spending a lot of money on a program you barely use, there’s probably a cheaper solution.

3.       Does it give you the results you wanted? I was signed up for a program earlier this year that was $79 dollars a month. That’s not a ton of money, but the program wasn’t converting like I thought it would and I decided that I can find a cheaper option that does the exact same job.

4.       Does it give you feedback? If it’s a program for bookkeeping or something that gives you data, are you able to understand the results? Now, sometimes, especially in accounting, you have to have your books set up so you get clear results. I can help with that, by the way. But if you don’t understand the results, you may need to ask a professional for help or you need to  find a simpler solution.

5.       Does this make your business better? Where do you see your business at the end of the year? What do you need to do to get there? If the technology you have doesn’t help you get there and is something you’re holding onto because you’ve always had it, it might be time to let go.

I’ll leave this as a last thought. Sometimes, people come to me frustrated because they have been told that they ‘should keep an online calendar’ or ‘they should keep this on the computer’ or ‘they shouldn’t keep a paper list.’ I am all for technology, but you need to find something that works for you. Technology is wonderful and can enhance our lives, but ultimately, I want you to find a system that works for you and one that you will actually use. Maybe you needed permission to stop trying to force yourself to use technology in a certain aspect of your business when there is a simpler solution you will actually use. I give you permission to stop using the technology 😊

 

Think through the technology that you use and ask yourself: Do you know how to use it? How much is it? Does it give you the results you wanted? Does it give you feedback? Does this  make your business better? It might be time to stop using something or time to invest in some professional help to get you to where it helps your business.

 

Next week, we are going to chat about where the holes are in your company’s needs, how to find them and find ways that technology can help with that. In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Instagram @lydia.miller.mba and if you are struggling with your bookkeeping system, I would love to help you customize that to help you instead of stress you out.  You can learn more by going to lydiagmiller.com/workwithme.

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