When it comes to running a successful business these days, entrepreneurs need a formidable mix of grit, ambition, faith, a strong network and technology too.
You don’t have to be a tech whiz to take your company to the next level, but finding a way to incorporate some of the current digital offerings into your day-to-day biz strategy is crucial for crushing long term goals.
Bi-weekly, we’ll be introducing you to local founders and the cool tech tools that they use in their businesses. This week? We’re featuring inspirational youth speaker, author and entrepreneur, EJ Carrion.
Starting in 2010 while he was still working towards his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Carrion started branding himself as a professional speaker, conducting presentations and workshops for high school and college students. EJ has spoken to over 100,000 people in 43 states and around the world.
Soon after graduation, Carrion jumped into the entrepreneurial world and co-founde Student Success Agency, an online mentoring platform that connects teenagers to support from their cell phone, where he currently still serves as CEO. Carrion recently represented Student Success Agency at the White House as a special guest speaker on college success and was recognized by Forbes as a top 30 entrepreneur under the age of 30 in Education.
Despite holding these other roles, Carrion is also the best-selling author of Accelerate Your Success: How to Create a Future and Stand Out When College is Not Enough, a book that teaches students to market and brand themselves in the current job market.
With lots of travel and many different responsibilities, Carrion shared some of the tech tools that keeps him organized.
Check out Carrion’s Tech Tools
How long have you been using it? One year
What impact has it had on your business? We have a virtual team, so video conferencing plays a big role for us. It allows us to see one another and just communicate via phone and email. We use it for all of big meetings internally and for sales.
Any tips or critiques of the tool? What I like about it is the ability to simply record both the video and audio, so if people miss the meetings or if we need to get info out to our agents, they can have the video as a resource to do their jobs better. They also have a very easy-to-use phone app.
How long have you been using it? Six months
What impact has it had on your business? It makes it easy to edit PDF’s and to sign contracts. Our speed on paperwork and contracts has gotten much quicker. We work with schools, so there is a lot of paperwork we need to start and close a deal, so this has been extremely helpful.
Any tips or critiques of the tool? I like that I can easily merge PDFs and scan documents from my phone with the Adobe Scan app. My critique is their comment piece. Our team still prefers Google Docs and Slack rather than their comment piece. I think their comment piece is good for editors and people who are taking notes.
How long have you been using it? Two years
What impact has it had on your business? It is the easiest way to track your miles and get them expensed. It saves so much time.
Any tips or critiques of the tool? The app tracks automatically and collects your rides. You simply swipe left or right in order to organize your miles as a personal or business expense. My critique, which is not a fair one, is that it would be so cool if they could tell that you’re driving your personal car. I do a lot rental cars and Lyft, which are not vehicles I can expense for miles. MilesIQ collects those rides as well, which makes it hard for me to organize the ride if I wait too long to go through them.
Have tools to share?
Do you have tech tools that keep your business running smooth? We want to hear them. Email our editor.