Whether you believe some people are born to be entrepreneurs or not, one thing is for certain. You can never have enough knowledge. Acquiring new skills will make you a stronger and more efficient entrepreneur. This is especially true in the fast-paced world of technology. Whether you’re a self-professed geek or not, every entrepreneur needs to master the following eight tech skills to succeed.
Coding is the skill for 21st century. Whether it’s understanding the basics of HTML and CSS, which happen to be the most popular core technologies for displaying web pages, or getting into Java or Python, every entrepreneur needs at least some grasp of this skill.
While coding is complex, technology has simplified this skill. Thanks to organizations like Khan Academy and Code.org it’s never been easier or more attainable to learn how to code. I've been using Codecademy for the past four months to help code my invoicing startup Due. Though I have several developers, it's nice to be able to hop into the code and fix little things that annoy me. Then I don't have to get my programmers out of their groove.
This may not exactly be a technical skill but it’s still a vital component of your startup because it helps you understand how webpages and apps are designed. It can also help you communicate more effectively with the tech and product teams.
3. The Cloud.
All of your data is going to end up in The Cloud at some point, so you should start acquiring as much knowledge as you can - whether it’s simply mastering Google Drive, Dropbox or Salesforce. When you have an understanding of the cloud, you are able to collaborate more efficiently with colleagues, improve your security, discover new business models and ensure that you stay competitive.
New to cloud computing? Check out this free introduction course on ALISON.
4. Big Data.
Speaking of data, big data is all around us in every digital process and social media exchange that occurs - and it’s only going to get bigger and more mainstreamed as technology advances. With big data you can gain a competitive advantage, understand customer preferences and make more informed business decisions.
5. Online accounting and bookkeeping.
Managing your finances and keeping your books in order are an important aspect of each and every business. Without this knowledge, your chances of succeeding are greatly reduced. Thankfully, there is more than enough accounting and bookkeeping software to help you handle all of your accounting and bookkeeping needs - such as billing, payroll, and keeping your receipts organized. Here are some of the top accounting and invoicing solutions for small businesses.
Find the accounting software that best fits your needs and start playing around with it so that you’re familiar with how it works.
6. Graphic design.
How do you think you’re going to grab the attention of customers or investors? Having a great and innovative product/service is a start, but you need to have them notice your designs first. Remember, the colors, typeface and logo of your company say who you are and what you stand for. Learn the basics of design from software like Adobe Photoshop.
Canva is a great location that I use to create simple graphics for my website that look very professional.
This may sound a bit obvious, but the ability to effectively communicate, interact and engage with others online is extremely important. Learn how to manage your email inbox, like using tools to automate messages and label messages, as well as learning email keyboard shortcuts. Both of these skills will help you easily manage your email account without spending all day going through your inbox. You’ll also need to rely on email when you get into the marketing part of your business. I've also found that the more I stay ahead of communication, the more respected I am in my organization.
Entrepreneurs also need to use social media effectively so they can interact with customers, receive feedback and gain priceless insights. Managing all of your social media accounts is challenging, but apps like Buffer and Hootsuite can help you handle your social media accounts. Wordstream put together a list of 26 free online courses that can help your social media skills.
The mobile revolution is here, and it’s only going to get bigger. To reach customers and stay competitive, you must have a mobile marketing strategy, and look for ways to generate money through mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly website and app are just the beginning when it comes to being mobile ready. You absolutely need to step up your game when it comes to mobile or you’ll be left behind.
Pluralsight has some excellent beginner courses on mobile that I've taken that are very useful.
Learning new skills is one of the best ways to stay fresh.