There is one valuable commodity entrepreneurs need more of. And technology can play a role in giving them greater access to it, as Mark Geremia, VP and GM for Dragon, Nuance Communications, explains,
Ask any entrepreneur what they wish they had more of, and chances are they wouldn’t say vision, energy, or drive. They may not even mention funding, if their business or business idea has been well received by the investor community. Therefore, I think when answering that question, many of them would say ‘time’, that precious commodity that constantly slips away or gets consumed by tasks which – while essential to business – rarely do much to help it grow.
If you were to then pose a further question – what’s holding your business back? – the answer may well be ‘red tape’, along with the endless chore of admin duties that soaks up what little time most entrepreneurs have. Recently, with the introduction of GDPR, the grip admin had over businesses was tightened further for all companies across Europe.
Drowning in documents
In many cases, it is admin requirements that really impacts the productivity of entrepreneurs, especially if their business is at a stage where they’re responsible for many of the core tasks and they don’t yet have the team resources around them to delegate those tasks to.
This challenge – to drive the business while managing the day to day nuts and bolts of running it – no longer needs to be seen as insurmountable. In fact, advances in technology mean that they can be addressed very easily. Technology has already accelerated the pace at which businesses can grow – you only need to consider the number of Internet-based businesses that have flourished in the last decade, leaving conventional competitors in their tracks.
More specifically, speech recognition technology has made considerable in-roads in to our professional and private lives, bringing convenience, choice and easier access to information and services, helping to make our day to day lives appreciably more productive. In addition to its own advances, much of speech recognition’s evolution has been driven by other technologies, like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Technology. They have made speech technology more accurate, more powerful and more usable, which is why you see it used in ever-more applications ranging from mobile banking, in cars, customer contact centres, to GP’s offices and hospitals.
Using the power of your voice to accelerate your business
How then, can speech recognition technology help entrepreneurs with their time conundrum and how can it enable businesses to grow? In short, by offering an alternative to the one thing that puts the brakes on an entrepreneur’s productivity and performance every day – the keyboard and mouse. Given that for many a PC or laptop is core to their business, it seems baffling that we persist with the laborious keyboard and mouse when you consider that few people are professionally trained typists. Typing also runs the risk of introducing errors or mistakes in your work. It also hinders the pace at which you can respond, which is a factor when today customers expect a rapid responses to email enquiries or messages sent via social media channels. For poor or slow typists – and that’s probably a lot of us – the thought of a deluge of important emails to respond to isn’t the dream they had in mind when building their business.
One of the key reasons desktop speech recognition solutions – like Nuance Communications’ Dragon family for the PC, Mac and mobile – is finding favour with more businesses and professionals, is that we typically speak up to three times faster than we can type. With Dragon, you speak and words appear on the screen near instantaneously. Dragon can recognise up to 160 words per minute, and its accuracy recognition rates of 99% means far fewer errors than when typing. For anyone that produces a lot of Word documents during the day – proposals, plans, reports, invoices, and estimates, for example – they will get more done, sooner, simply by using their voice to cut through their admin, giving them more time to focus on the vision and direction for their business.
Dragon’s talents extend far beyond putting words on a screen, though. In addition to Word, it works with all of the popular Microsoft Office applications. That means you can create emails, spreadsheets and even presentations simply using your voice alone. Compatibility with popular web browsers means that internet searches can be conducted by voice. Dragon users can even use their voice to control their PC, by switching between applications or even sending emails they have drafted.
Therefore, the time Dragon’s performance gives back to users, is tangible. Work that may have taken hours – like drafting a proposal or responding to a packed inbox – can be completed so much faster than by typing. There’s also less strain on your hands and wrists, which is a boon for anyone worried about – or who suffers from – the effects of Repetitive Strain Injury. Dragon has already become very popular with people who are Dyslexic, as well. Without being hindered by the keyboard and mouse, their ideas, knowledge and creativity, can be captured on screen simply by speaking.
Keep your business booming when on the road
However, most entrepreneurs are on the move, seeing clients, investors or meeting their peers, and in that situation their mobile often becomes their primary interface. But being productive on a mobile is even more of a challenge; small form size, tiny keyboards and screens start to pose their own problems. Here, the Dragon Anywhere mobile app provides all of the professional grade accuracy and features of the desktop version, so creating and editing documents is just as easy on the move, without impacting productivity simply because users are away from their office. Furthermore, Dragon Anywhere synchronises seamlessly with the desktop version, so when they’re back at the office, users can simply pick up where they left off.
As technology speeds up the pace of business, it also creates new opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses, not just locally but globally. Dragon gives users both the time and the agility to respond to these effectively as well as attending more easily to the time consuming day to day requirements of running their business. And as the digital economy takes over, there remains one further question entrepreneurs should consider – should the keyboard and mouse still have a place in the future success of their business?
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of My Entrepreneur Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, The Property Investor and Gold, Oil and Diamonds, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.