How To Climb Up The Online Business Mountain

If you have ever participate in an outdoor activity, especially mountain hiking, you will agree with me that it has a lot in common with the strategic steps we ought to go through before expecting rewarding online business success.

Just like outdoor activities start from recording a list of the necessary gear to use, succeeding in online business also involves a strategic approach of proper self organization, from getting the required working materials to effective time management.

Even while there is already a lot of fun in working from home, it also comes with some time and self management challenges which often keep most of us from climbing up the online business mountain and achieving total control and freedom.

On top of a snow covered mountain

Climb the mountain to online business success

For an effective approach towards achieving online business success, we have to pay attention to the following:

Effective Time Management

This is the most important factor that determines the level we can reach as online business owners. Ineffective time management can ruin our progress and deter us from achieving the great heights. For effective time management, we need to:

Schedule our time: Doing the dishes, laundry, coking and some other household activities are going to steal your business time, if you don’t schedule them wisely.

It is true that these activities are necessary and have to be done, but you will be more productive both at your family duties and at your online business, if you schedule special periods in the day for everything you need to do in the house and for your online business as well.

Once it is the time for each of them, leave every other thing you are doing and focus on them. This will improve your concentration and ensure you accomplish more.

While these activities are inevitable, there are others, like online chats with friends, online videos and their likes are total time-suckers and should be avoided.

Stop procrastination: Once you have fixed activities for the day, don’t shift one to the next minute. If it is time to get something done, get it done. I learn this the hard way, but it is good you know that every minute of the day comes with some needs. Shifting any activity to the future will pile up with loads of other activities and eventually will overwhelm you.

Working place and passion for your job

It is critical to love your work and be able to do it in a nice and cozy place. For effectiveness in online business we need to:

Create a space and keep it organized: Even though you work from home, getting a separate office for your business will make you take it more seriously and ensure that you accomplish something on daily basis. Also, properly organizing your working space will ensure that it doesn’t repel your interest but instead, lure you to work.

Love what you do and let the others be aware too: Tell your family and friends that even though you stay at home, certain periods of the day are dedicated to your online business. They will respect this fact only when they see how bold and serious you are, and how important this is for you; hence you need to show them that commitment.

Measure your success and reward yourself: Most times, many online business owners lose hope and give up when they feel that nothing is working. Even that period is important, because you have found methods that don’t really work and you just need to concentrate to do things differently. However, find a way to measure your success, even if it is the little things you accomplish in your day, and reward yourself for that by taking yourself out, watching your favorite TV series, etc.

With all these been cleared up, you have built a strategic plan and you’re ready to go. Pack your backpack with all these necessary gear and with determination hit the trail to online business success. The path won’t be easy, but you will be prepared.

Technology and the future of work

Technology is always changing and advancing the way we live our lives, unless you are a luddite and live in an Amish community that is! Some people oppose technological change, and I respect them for that, but personally I embrace it – techie all the way!

Technology is likely to improve the way we do business significantly in the near future, but how? In this article I am going to write about some of the latest and greatest technology which is going to revolutionise the way we work!

Portable Laser Keyboards

Okay, so you may be thinking that we already have keyboards that are pretty portable, you can get role up ones that you can take almost anywhere. The problem with these is of course, they do take up space, and often they cannot connect to your smartphone or tablet.

The future solution to this problem is already here: The Magic Cube. The Magic Cube is a super portable wireless laser keyboard, which has been developed by a company called Celluon. It is basically a little box which can project a laser keyboard onto any flat surfaces, and then works out what you are typing by where your fingers break the lasers.

A wireless laser keyboard called the Magic Cube

The Magic Cube – a wireless laser keyboard

This is no ordinary keyboard though, it can connect via Bluetooth to most smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktops, so wherever you are, no matter what your device, if you have your Magic Cube, you have a keyboard!

Hand Motion Technology

In the very near future, we will be able to control screens using our hands, and not by touching the screen (that technology already exists) but by simply waving a hand in the air.

The 2002 film Minority Report featured futuristic hand motion technology where detectives could push images off to the side and bring up more content just by waving their hands in the air. This was in the movie, because the film makers heard that the technology was being developed.

Better Integration

In the future we are likely to see much better integration of all technologies. Mainly thanks to the likes of cloud computing and improvements in wireless technology, it should become easier and easier to transfer files from device to to device.

Apps

Smartphones and tablets have and are still revolutionising the way we do business. Smartphones and tablets have significantly improved the way we do business and communicate, but it is the apps that you can download onto them that are likely to significantly change the way we do business in the future.

We already have apps that can scan and store your business cards, store details on your asset and save your important documents, but in the future you can expect many more effective, impressive apps. Some examples of apps which we may see developed in the future (or that are being developed now) are the likes of more powerful, real time translators, high performance graphic design apps, apps which make paying, transferring and receiving money much easier, human quality text to speech apps, and many more.

QB Robots

A US based company called Anybots have created a very cool little robot called QB, which uses the latest in wireless technology to create a portable webcam, so when conference calling, you almost feel as though you are in the room (thanks to your movable position) with your colleagues.

Anybots QB Robot

The head of one of Anybots wirelessly controlled QB robots – notice the webcam eyes and screen inbuilt into the head

The robots have freedom of movement, so they can go anywhere in the office. On the head section of the QB, there is a webcam, so that you can see what the robot sees, and a screen, so you can be seen by those in the office.

QB means that you can be anywhere in the world, and yet still check up on those in the office, meaning that working out of the office is so much easier than ever before! QB could also help to significantly reduce the costs to businesses of travel, as fewer employees will need to be on the move.

3D Printing

3D printing is a new technology, which some critics say will be as big a revolution as the internet! 3D printing will allow firms to print products to order in store, bringing huge savings to firms in terms of transportation. Some predict that by the end of the decade, 3D printers will be a common household object, where we can print things, in 3D out of a whole range of different materials. I plan to write an article in the near future about 3D printing, so stay tuned!

UPDATE: I have now written that article, and it can be found here: 3D printing – a revolution on the horizon?

So, the future looks very exciting, but what do you think of it? Have you heard anything that I haven’t?

ITIL improves the relationship between the business and IT

The most successful business can usually demonstrate a healthy relationship with its IT department. This is because over time IT has learnt what it is that the business require from technology and as a result have been able to design and deliver IT services that meet the needs of the business. This in turn can be seen as an enabler of the success of the business as a whole.

A very simple conclusion can be drawn from this and that is that if an IT department delivers to the business the IT that it wants and needs, then the business will be more inclined to listen to the advice of IT on technical matters in the future. There is also an increased likelihood that they will provide sufficient investment to meet future requirements. In other words business and IT will get on well with each other – a happy marriage!

Handshake through a laptop screen

Business and IT need to get on well

However, we’ve all probably been in the situation whereby the business is extremely demanding of IT. Where the business itself identifies technical solutions, before even identifying its needs. Where budgets are cut whilst demands continue to increase. Certainly in such circumstances, the IT professionals strive to perform as best they can, but frequently fall short of meeting the lofty expectations of the over demanding business community. This often results in more cuts and/or poorly managed outsourcing activities. The end result here is typically increased dissatisfaction, which in turn can easily lead to reduced business productivity and ultimately increased costs overall. Most definitely not a happy marriage!

The ITIL best practice framework is designed to improve the relationship between IT and the business. By building bridges between the two, the improved communication will help to ensure increased alignment between the IT delivered and the specific needs of the business. This in turn cannot help but improve productivity, both for the business community and IT itself.

An IT department should not be run from its own remote silo. Rather it should be considered part of the business as a whole and indeed central to the success of that business. ITIL facilitates a good working relationship between the business and IT, which can only be beneficial to both parties.

As the saying goes…. It’s good to talk!