Spider Ninja

Tech Talk

Why is technology so important at the moment in business?

Whether you love or hate it, technology is what makes the flow of business move along. Some will use it more to their advantage than others. This can be out of lack of knowledge or have a financial implication.

The pandemic has accelerated a lot of technologies and with a lot of businesses adopting the work from home attitude it has changed the dynamics of how most people engage with each other.

Not all people are computer or tech savvy to be totally comfortable in this enviroment or their normal day job would not have needed such IT, however as we are all in the same boat, some will thrive more than others.

Here we have put together some information that will help most small businesses and solopreneurs to get the most of their technology and hopefully help with their day-to-day working.

Mobile Phones

Dont get caught in the trap

With so many of us needing to be able to speak to people outside of an office or from a home location, they feel more comfortable using a mobile rather than a household landline.

Smartphones now have the capabilities of most computers from 10 years ago and technically you could run a business just from your phone.

One trap that most people fall into is the upgrade trap. Last years flagship phone, the absolute must have is usually this years midship level. They didnt loose their power or stop working, The industry keeps trying to better itself to make things more interesting.

When your contract comes to an end or you are looking for a new device think about the capabilites and what you are looking for the most.

You will find that most phones will really do what you want and they will do it well. A £300 phone today will do what a £1000 phone did only 1-2 years ago. 

Capabilities

With the latest version of the operating systems, there are also the latest version of their artificial intelligence assistants.

Did you know they can email, text and phone people as well even whatsapp using your voice. They can remind you of things, translate, calculate and add to your calendars and lists (shopping list is my favourite)

Whatsapp Hint

If you look at Whatsapp on your phone. You go to chat then click on the three dots at the top right, you will see Whatsapp web. Click that then go onto your browser and type in web.whatsapp.com in the address bar, you will get a message asking you to scan the QR code. Use your phone to scan it and you will see all your messages on your computer. From then on you can do the typing and file swapping on there.

I would use it when dealing with graphic designers who want to show me samples of the logo to go on websites. It’s really easy to save on the computer and then upload directly to a website.

Micro COMPUTERS

The price of computing power has come down an awful lot over the last few years and there are quite a few microcomputers as well as the power houses. Microcomputers are great space savers as well as being versatile enough to carry from home to office.

Droix CK2 Intel i7 Nuc Windows 10 Ultra HTPC

These are also good if you wish to use your TV as a PC monitor and do presentations in an office. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse they make the ultimate office setup.

New Apple Mac mini with Apple M1 Chip

These are also good if you wish to use your TV as a PC monitor and do presentations in an office. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse they make the ultimate office setup.

CHROMEBOOKS

If you are looking to run a business and need a computer but don’t have a massive budget a Chromebook will be great for 90% of small businesses.

You can do anything that you can on a mobile device as well as have a full set of office software thanks to Google as well as lots of productivity apps.

Lenovo Budget Chromebook

These are also good if you wish to use your TV as a PC monitor and do presentations in an office. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse they make the ultimate office setup.

Asus - 433 BARGAIN

These are also good if you wish to use your TV as a PC monitor and do presentations in an office. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse they make the ultimate office setup.

Having a Chromebook makes using all of your cloud based systems integrate really well.
For example when I am building a clients website and need extra text from them I can share a Google Doc and they can type on there and I see it in realtime, can make suggestions or edits and they will see them as well.

Sharing a folder on a Google drive can also help when you want to get information out there or give someone access to other documents that you have made before.

Google photos will take the images directly from your phone and put them into your account giving you access on your laptop to do other things with them such as crop and edit and place into social media ready for upload.
For me I use it all the time for screen captures.

Websites

Whether you want to have a simple presence online or a fully-fledged eCommerce platform, maybe you want to have a way of getting people to book services with you.

Having a website can give you a customer facing platform that lets you add many elements to the customer experience even if you are not there.

ZOOM - YOUTUBE - VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

To make yourself look professional online in video, there are some great bits of kit out there that can enhance your game.

LAPTOP BUILT IN WEBCAM VS INDEPENDENT CAMERA

Laptop camera vs actual camera when using zoom. Both photos were screenshots from a Zoom meeting with just me in so the full screen, in the same lighting conditions, and at the same distance from the subject (me).

As you can see the camera has a much better sensor than the one on my MacBook pro and therefore can read a lot more light and separate the colours in a much better way. The angle when on a laptop is definitely not the best and the camera has a much wider field of view so giving me more options and control.

The camera in its normal position, not zoomed in to match the laptop. You can see that the field of view is much greater.

Camera

You always need a good camera, believe it or not, the camera in your laptop is quite bad compared to what you could be using.

When they make a computer they have to balance out the cost with quality and you would be surprised how bad a laptop camera actually is.

One of the best cameras out there is not as expensive as you think.

Logitech c920 HD

Lights

Lighting yourself properly is great to let people see you and your facial expressions instead of being in a shadow or darkness, also it’s great for making videos look a lot more professional.

You can use anything from a simple ring light to full setups and they all will work depending on what you are looking to achieve.

I will link to some of my favourites here so that you can maybe find a solution that suits you.

Microphone

Having a good microphone is key to doing good presentations whether they are pre-recorded videos or you are actually in a live video meeting.

This can also affect why you don’t get one to ones as some people will find that the echoes or background noises are distracting and choose not to actually have a conversation with you. They might be able to tolerate 60 seconds but do not want to put themselves through it for an hour.

The one that I would highly recommend and use myself is the Fifine Condenser Recording Microphone. This microphone has had amazing amount of reviews and can help you in the most awkward setups.