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Gadgets and Gizmos - Keeping up with the latest technology

Wednesday, March 19, 2014   By Mike Reddy


I might start off by saying that if you are the type of person that even uses the term "gadgets and gizmos", chances are you are also the sort of person who feels completely lost at sea when the conversation turns to technology.

I need to stress how important it is for a small business owner to keep up with the ways that technology can make your life easier. Of course, it might also help you to appear "cool" in the eyes of younger team members although that might yet be still out of reach.

Before we get on to some exciting stuff, let's start at the very beginning.

It's 2014 so, if you haven't already, let's start you off with a smart phone. Those fancy gadgets that used to seem so complex are now so user-friendly and intuitive that you are really missing out on one of the simplest ways to streamline your business processes.

To do lists, notes, orders, invoices, contacts, emails, banking and social media have all become mobile. In fact, even scanning documents and importing files can be just a tap or two away.

Invest in a 2-in-1 portable computer. The most common complaint I used to hear from business owners about tablets was about the pesky touchscreen and how it wasn't cooperative when typing or even working on large presentations. A 2-in-1 allows you to easily switch between tablet and laptop formats with a simple snap or click.

For decades we have been pursuing the dream of the paperless office. It makes so much sense to employ a document scanner to scan all of those papers and organise them into folders on your computer. For just a few hundred dollars they are really an office essential.

This is especially becoming the case when so many cloud-based software services allow all of this data to be neatly stored where they can then be available at a moment's notice to the team member who needs it, no matter where they might be.

One of the latest technologies to consider is the Wi-Fi hotspot or a Wi-Fi portable projector. Don’t leave home without it. They are like your own wireless network away from home. The Wi-Fi portable projector will allow half a dozen users or more to connect at the speed you need to be productive.

And when it comes to those all-important presentations, data projectors can now clip onto your mobile device, laptop or camera so you can project your presentation onto any wall.

There are a number of online services that can provide huge benefits to small business owners.

Have a look at Mail Chimp, Dropbox, Evernote and Odesk for other well established, tried and tested technologies and resources that exist to make your business life easier.

Or how about a USB notification device which will ensure you never miss a message from that important customer. The device will let you know when you have messages or emails coded by different coloured lights.

It's all about helping you to have the mobility you need whenever you need it, wherever you need it.

And, who knows, you might even find that it's easier than you thought.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.