by Lina Martinez
When you start a creative business, everything suddenly isn't all about indulging your creativity anymore. You have to pay attention to the business side of things and how this interacts with the creative part of your business. One of the things that every creative business owner needs to consider is the technology that they use. You often require the right tech to carry out your creative work, especially if you want to be able to produce your products in larger volumes. Whether that means sourcing the best software, buying screen printing equipment or getting an industrial sewing machine, you need to know how to make the best creative tech choices.
Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Staying up to date with what's happening in your industry and what other creative entrepreneurs are doing is crucial. If you listen carefully, you can make sure that you know if everyone is moving onto the next big thing. You can find ways to save money, use your tech more effectively, and make better choices about which tech tools are necessary and which ones would be an unnecessary expense. There are plenty of ways to listen to what's happening, from subscribing to trade magazines to networking with others in the business.
Go to Trade Shows and Expos
Another excellent way to keep up with what's happening in your industry is to look for trade shows and expos for creative businesses and more specifically for businesses like yours. Some of the them might be large and sprawling, while others are small and target a more specific audience. These events give you the chance to see what products are out there, and often to see them in action too. It can be difficult to decide whether to invest in new creative tech if you're not sure exactly what it could do for you. But getting to see demonstrations of equipment working should help you to be more informed.
Get Tech Developed By Industry Veterans
Making the right choice when you buy new tech for your business often means choosing from a range of products that might seem similar on the surface. When you don't know which one is better, differentiating them can be tough. One of the best ways to choose which tech is best for your business is to look at products that have been developed by those in the industry. When you buy an LED exposure unit that has been developed by someone with years of experience in screen printing, you know that it has been designed by a team with experience. It should benefit from development that took common pain points of screen printers into account, and personal knowledge of what screen printers are looking for.
Don't Follow Every Trend
It's essential not to fall into the trap of buying every new tech product out there. When you're deciding which technology is right for your creative business, you need to weigh up the benefits it has, especially when compared to your current tech. Is it just a passing fad or are the tides changing toward this particular technology? If it benefits your business, is it enough of a benefit that it's worth the cost and anything else you might need to do, like train your employees how to use it?
Test Out New Tools
Before you invest in new tech for your business, it's a good idea to get the chance to try it out. Sometimes, you can have a trial of the product, whether it's software or equipment. Some products might come with a money-back guarantee, so you can try out some new tech for a trial period and decide whether it works for your business. You might want to gather feedback from customers and staff, as well as assess the quality of the products that you produce using the new tech.
Speak to Your Staff
Remember that it's also important to get your employees' opinions on any new tech that you're considering. You can ask them about their experiences with certain tools and equipment, and get them to say which new tech they think your business should prioritize. They might also be able to offer suggestions for new technology that you haven't thought out, which they might have seen elsewhere or perhaps even used in their personal lives. Your staff can often know best about which technology could be the most valuable to them and to your business.
To make sure you get the right tech for your creative business, you need to look at both the creative and business benefits.