Computers & Technology: Essential Tools for Business Success


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Computers & Technology: Essential Tools for Business Success

  1. 1. Computers & Technology Essential tools for success Ben Coleman, ICT Advisor West Africa Trade Hub
  2. 2. It’s all about increasing efficiency • Faster, more accurate, cheaper • Improves communication, e.g. email • Increases access to markets, e.g. online promotion, procurement
  3. 3. Greater efficiency leads to greater productivity • …leads to lower costs • …leads to greater competitiveness • …leads to greater sales
  4. 4. Use ICT or get left behind The world is changing… • You will be less efficient than your competitors • Buyers demand responsiveness
  5. 5. Success stories • Ahene Pa Nkasa using Tally for accounting • Solution Oasis’ new website using Google Sites
  6. 6. Key solutions that can help your business right now
  7. 7. Using your computer
  8. 8. • Buy a UPS to avoid losing work Using your computer
  9. 9. • Defragment your hard drive to keep your computer running fast Automatic in Vista, but check it’s working Using your computer
  10. 10. • Keep your programs updated to avoid viruses Internet connection and settings Using your computer
  11. 11. • Be careful when you plug in a USB into your computer to avoid picking up a virus Scan any USB that has been used elsewhere Using your computer
  12. 12. • PAY for an antivirus to get the best protection for your computer and work E.g. Nod32 Antivirus ( Using your computer
  13. 13. • Backup your hard drive to save your work/time Can use Windows Backup and Restore or e.g. Syncback ( Using your computer
  14. 14. • Use freeware to recover lost files E.g. Mini Tool Power ( Using your computer
  15. 15. • Use Picasa to organize your photos Using your computer
  16. 16. • Use a customer relationship management tool to improve your customer interactions E.g. or High Rise ( Using your computer
  17. 17. • Do your accounting on your computer to increase accuracy and flexibility E.g. Tally or a custom Excel spreadsheet Using your computer
  18. 18. Using email
  19. 19. • Create an email signature to make it easier to contact you Using email
  20. 20. • Use an email client to save time E.g. Outlook or Thunderbird ( Using email
  21. 21. • Send out mass emails to your contacts (but not spam!) to support your marketing E.g. Mail Chimp ( Using email
  22. 22. • Always answer your emails promptly to keep your customers Mark the emails you have to respond to or act on Using email
  23. 23. • Use proper email etiquette Be careful what you say and how you say it Using email
  24. 24. On the Internet
  25. 25. • Start using search engines to answer (almost) anything! On the Internet
  26. 26. • Find freeware and online tools to save you money E.g. On the Internet
  27. 27. • Use Google Sites to create a professional easy- to-update website On the Internet
  28. 28. • Register your domain name E.g. On the Internet
  29. 29. • Read a blog to find out market trends Search for e.g. shea blog On the Internet
  30. 30. • Start a blog to increase visits to your website Use e.g. On the Internet
  31. 31. • Monitor visitors to your website E.g. Google Analytics ( On the Internet
  32. 32. • Monitor your business using Google Alerts On the Internet
  33. 33. • Add your business to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Places, any other online directory related to your business to increase your company’s visibility marketing On the Internet
  34. 34. • Join the Trade Hub supported online portal ( to increase the visibility of your website Contact for more information On the Internet
  35. 35. • Use Skype to cut your phone bills and make it easier for people to contact you On the Internet
  36. 36. • Use “the cloud” to access your documents from anywhere E.g. On the Internet
  37. 37. • Be careful what you download to avoid picking up a virus On the Internet
  38. 38. Offline
  39. 39. • Create a brand, including logo and brand promise to direct your online marketing Offline
  40. 40. • Live up to your brand to send a clear message to your audience Your staff must also send the same message Offline
  41. 41. • Get training in how to use ICT more effectively E.g. Learn how to use MS Office to its full potential, and save yourself time Offline
  42. 42. • Use professional telephone etiquette to keep/ gain more customers Make sure your office staff are trained properly also! Offline
  43. 43. • Put your website/email everywhere to increase your company’s visibility E.g. business cards, email signature, branding Offline
  44. 44. • Spend more of your budget on ICT, it will pay off in the long-run See what products we recommend for SMEs ( Offline
  45. 45. Offline • Find a reliable source of ICT advice West Africa Trade Hub!
  46. 46. Thank you! Ben Coleman ( Sokhna Seck (