Finding and implementing new technology can be a stressful experience for founders. It’s often a big investment, with a lot of pressure for it to succeed. The good news is that there are simple ways you can build up confidence and get reassurance you’re making the right decision.
Technology is an essential part of running a business, but it’s common for startup founders and entrepreneurs to occasionally feel daunted by it.
There’s already a lot to learn when you start a business, from accounting and finance to sales and marketing. If you’re a non-technical founder, figuring out how to develop an app or what to pay for a website can feel like learning a new language.
Even for founders who would consider themselves tech savvy, there are moments where self doubt can take over. Technology is moving at such a fast pace of development and there are new, exciting tools emerging every week. It’s hard not to face choice paralysis when it comes to selecting something new.
So what’s the solution? While there are no overnight fixes, there are lots of small things you can do to start building your confidence in technology and embracing it in your business. Here’s where to start.
Focus on what you need, not what you want
A lot of anxieties around new technology relate back to cost. If you’re running a startup or a small business, budgets can be tight and you want to make sure you get a good return on investment from any purchase.
You can alleviate these fears by clearly identifying a need or problem in your business before you make a decision. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of new technology or think you need something because everyone else has it, but what works for another business won’t automatically work for yours.
What’s the one thing that’s holding you back and which tool would make a tangible difference? If your sluggish computer is killing your productivity, it might be a faster laptop. Alternatively, if you want to improve file sharing and organization with your hybrid team, you might want a cloud storage solution. Push yourself to be honest about what you actually need.
Connect with more advanced peers
One founder we spoke to has built up her confidence with technology by making sure she feels equipped to make good decisions. To do that, she regularly seeks advice from her network, which includes other small business owners as well as mentors and advisors.
Building external connections is a valuable way to broaden your perspective on what’s possible. It’s important to meet business owners at the same stage as you so you can share challenges and solutions, but it’s just as important to look ahead.
Having a few entrepreneurs in your network who are a couple of years ahead can help you to gauge your future needs and select tools that can grow with your business.
If you’re a woman entrepreneur, you can join the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) to connect with women entrepreneurs from around the world and get valuable resources for your business.
Trust others in your team
If you have a small team or trustworthy freelancers that you work with on a regular basis, it can be helpful to get their input when choosing new technology.
One tech startup founder we spoke to gets suggestions from her developers. While her network helps to keep new technology on her radar, her team has the context to know what’s actually suitable for the business.
Getting input from your team will not only boost your confidence that you’re making the right decision, but can ease the stress of implementation too. You can check how – or crucially, if – the new tech will integrate with your other systems and troubleshoot potential issues in advance.
The more you do something, the easier it becomes. The same applies to researching, testing and rolling out new systems or tools in your business.
New technology tends to feel the most intimidating when you’ve been using the same hardware or software for years. It can be hard to break out of your comfort zone and nerve-wracking to try something new.
Creating a culture that encourages experimentation can make those situations less daunting. Most apps and software offer free trials or demos, so if something piques your interest, set aside half an hour to see how it works and encourage others to do the same.
Even if it’s not quite right for your business, it may end up coming in useful in the future or be the exact tool that a peer is looking for. Either way, embracing experimentation will help to normalize the process of trying new tech and help you get excited about the opportunities available.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Finally, the fastest way to build up your confidence with new technology is to not be afraid of asking “stupid questions”.
It’s common to nod along with an explanation when you don’t really understand. But while you don’t need to be a fully fledged tech expert, you do want to make sure you’re informed enough to make the right decisions for your business.
Most people are there to help you succeed and will likely have heard all your questions hundreds of times before. Whether it’s about the basic cost of a website or the functionality of a platform, it’s worth spending an extra 10 minutes building your understanding now rather than regretting it further down the line.
Additional Recommended Reads
Even the most digitally savvy entrepreneur can find new technology daunting at times. Here are quick ways you can build your digital confidence and stay up to date with the latest tech tools.
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