Monday, 24 October 2011

Guest Blogger: Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation on Tech4StartUp Britain

Last week was Tech4StartUp Britain Week; a schedule of events where companies, large and small, offered their top tech tips to start ups and growing businesses. Hosted by national campaign, StartUp Britain, topics covered ranged from how to get online, making the most of mobile, and becoming a Twitter pro.


What quickly became clear was how technology that used to be only accessible to large businesses is now being made freely (or at low cost) available to start ups and micro enterprises. At the kick-off event held at Microsoft on Monday, we heard from James Akrigg on how the cloud is enabling small businesses to work how, where and when they want with services on a pay as you go basis that meet most budgets. On Wednesday it was time for Wendy Tan White and Joe White of Moonfruit to demonstrate their newly launched and incredibly impressive Shopbuilder which provides small business owners with a professional presence on the web, including replication to Facebook, for an affordable price. Tools and techniques previously only available to large companies with big budgets are now opening up to the benefit of thousands of start-ups.


The tools and tips demonstrated throughout the week had a clear focus; they were aimed at helping small business owners save time and money. Mark Shaw, the UK’s leading Twitter expert, showed how to use this free tool to promote your business and engage with clients (ie increase sales) and Ural Cebeci of Skype presented on how this global voice over IP tool connects you with partners, suppliers and staff without the need to travel (saving time) and with skype to skype calls being free, it’s a money-saver too. Whether starting or growing, small business owners focus on how to increase revenue, make the most of hours in the day, and keep overheads to a minimum. The majority of the presentations focused on these key needs and I guarantee attendees will be testing out their discoveries this coming week!


During the week I listened to many speakers as well as presenting myself to an event of Country Homes magazine readers interested in starting a business. In promoting tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as powerful promotion channels, I was asked the question as to how much time it takes and which the most effective tools to use. This brings me back to a final key theme of Tech4StartUp Britain speakers which was their advice to experiment; it’s quick, easy and cheap to try a number web and social media tools and platforms and work out which ones work best for you.
Let’s embrace the tools being created to improve our business performance and keep minds open to constant experimentation!

With thanks to Arabella Dymoke of The Good Web Guide who was one of our top guest speakers of the week.

Emma Jones is founder of small business support company, Enterprise Nation and co-founder of StartUp Britain


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