One of the primary reasons self-employment is exploding in popularity is technology. Thanks to the flexibility of the internet (as well as the availability of business-ready apps) we have become able to wrest control of our careers and find success on our own terms. Our devices are the reason we can work and live like we do. Like a baker without an oven ― like a trucker without a truck ― a self-employed worker without tech will have a difficult time making ends meet.
Yet, few of us self-employed workers truly understand the tech we use, which means it is all the more tragic when our devices need attention or aid. Most self-employed workers understand that we must be our own accountants, our own marketers, and our own product management teams ― but most are not equipped to become our own IT departments. Unlike many roles in business, we can’t just wing tech support ― so here are a few steps to being the best IT self-employee in your business.
Master Basic Fixes
You’ve probably been using a computer for most of your life, but that doesn’t mean you understand basic solutions that will keep your tech in tip-top shape. One potential fix to always consider is that nine times out of 10, you might be able to solve an issue with a simple reboot. Depending on if the issue is driver- or software-focused, it’s possible that all you need is to download an update to take care of a problem that rebooting didn’t fix.
While those two solutions can help solve a lot of common issues, if you’re serious about transitioning into full-time self-employment, consider taking a few introductory computer training online courses to better understand the various fundamentals you should know, including about security, more advanced troubleshooting, networking, and more. Learning about the basics upfront will make it easier should you decide to grow your knowledge further down the road.
Use Online Resources
In the unlikely event you encounter a problem that is not resolved by updating software or restarting, you can always take to the web for help before you bother paying for a professional. The internet is filled with resources for every possible tech malady; performing a web search using your computer’s symptoms should reveal that hundreds of users before you have suffered the same fate.
Often, you can locate resolutions on company troubleshooting pages. Microsoft provides particularly comprehensive content to resolve nearly every quandary regarding a Microsoft device or Windows software. However, if you can’t find answers on the company’s site, you should be able to discover a solution on one of the web’s extensive tech forums. Here, tech amateurs and experts exchange information and attempt to solve one another’s problems. Even if you can’t find your exact issue, you can create a post and receive good advice quickly.
Have Soft Skills
Usually, soft skills are those unquantifiable abilities you use to secure a job with a traditional employer, but soft skills are equally valuable when you are self-employed and trying to be your own IT. Primarily, you must be patient with your tech. Though it is with you at all times, your computer is only a machine, and it will never function like another human being. If you find yourself getting frustrated and annoyed at your tech, you should take a break from it, so you can avoid doing it any harm. You must have realistic expectations for your tech if you hope to find success.
When it comes to diagnosing tech troubles, you should also demonstrate the soft skills of communication and persistence. There is a solution to your current problems, but it might take more than a few minutes to find it. By staying calm, explaining your issue thoroughly, and continuing to search for answers, you will eventually stumble upon the cure to any computer malady. By applying your soft skills, you can thrive as your own IT department.
Know When It’s Too Much
Though you absolutely can DIY most computer problems, some solutions will definitely be out of your reach. Ultimately, computers are extremely complex machines, and you would have to dedicate a lifetime of study to be able to resolve all possible issues. If your tech is out of commission for more than a day, it is probably worth the cost of a professional to get your self-employed career back on track.