Technology. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
In today’s uber-digital world, you have to work with technology on some level. The question is – are you a total whiz? Or maybe you’re a late adopter with a reluctance to hop on the information highway and cruise at full speed.
Depending on what it is you do, either stance may be fine. To some degree, the nature of your business will determine how active you need to be in the virtual world. If you’re an IT consultant, you’ll need to be a total expert, because that’s the name of the game. But if you make handcrafted jewelry, you can probably get by with the most basic skill sets, if electronics aren’t your thing.
So…let’s assume your business lands somewhere in the middle. You aren’t a mover and shaker in the technology world and you aren’t an artisan crafter living on a sheep farm in upstate New York. Where do you fit in? Let’s take a quick quiz and find out.
1. You have a computer, of course. What do you usually use it for most of the time?
A. Watching videos and sending emails to my friends and family.
B. Shopping, for sure!
C. Creating documents, spreadsheets, newsletters, invoices, and other things that help me run my business, although what I do for a living isn’t tied to it.
D. Work – I couldn’t do my job without it. I’m on it all day because I need it to make my money.
E. Everything. I think I have chronic eyestrain.
2. You have a telephone. What kind of phone is it?
A. A pink princess phone. It’s been sitting on my bedside table since 1983.
B. A simple flip cell phone – it’s pretty low-tech.
C. A smartphone that’s about 2 years old – my contract is almost up.
D. The latest and greatest cell phone model.
E. A watch phone. I want to look like a superhero.
3. Do you have a tablet?
A. Sure. It’s pink, too. It’s on my bedside table, next to my princess phone. I write messages on it.
B. My daughter gave me hers when she bought a new one. I think I used it twice.
C. I bought one of the Kindle once. I mostly read books on it, but do other stuff too, sometimes.
D. I have one that’s almost due for an upgrade, but it’s really handy and I use it a lot.
E. I just bought this really cool one yesterday – it’s top-of-the-line.
4. What do you think of apps?
A. They’re great before dinner – but if I eat too many, I don’t finish my meal.
B. I play games when I’m waiting in the doctor’s office.
C. I have a few I use regularly – mostly for fun, but there are some good ones that help me run my business more efficiently.
D. I have a bunch of cool favorite apps that help me zip through my routine – business and pleasure. I use at least ten a day.
E. I’ve designed some or helped design them.
5. Cool communication is:
A. Meeting a friend for a chat over ice cream.
B. Texting back and forth with three or four people at one time.
C. Zoom - all the way.
D. Skype, Go to Meeting, online conference calls, or sweet business stuff like that.
E. Sharing ice cream and conversation with a friend while texting four others as I wind up my online session.
6. I forgot to plug in my cell phone, and it’s dead. What do I do now?
A. I don't use a cell phone.
B. Suffer until I get home when I can plug it into the wall for a few hours to recharge it.
C. Go out to my car and get the spare charger I keep in the glove box.
D. Use my handy-dandy-ready portable charging device.
E. Use one of my other ones – I have a work phone, a personal phone, and my watch phone.
7. You read news bits about new technology:
B. When I’m waiting in the doctor’s office and my phone is dead, so I can’t play games or surf social media.
C. Every so often.
D. At least once or twice a week.
E. At least once or twice a day. Or more.
8. My family and friends say I need to:
A. Come out of the Dark Ages…technology is here to stay.
B. Catch up a bit – I’m lagging behind the times.
C. Think about diving deeper into the tech ocean, although they have no real complaints.
D. Loan them my stuff.
E. Silence the cell, turn off the computer, and enjoy life.
9. I want to buy something new for my company. I get:
A. A new yoga mat. I decided being more relaxed would be great for business.
B. Some new furniture.
C. A new laptop and an updated smartphone – my old ones were okay, but a little slow. They were showing their age.
D. A cool new cell phone, updated software for my new computer I installed last year, and an upgraded server so my website goes faster.
E. I overhauled every electronic device in my office.
10. Social media is good for:
A. Exchanging recipes and posting funny cat memes on Facebook.
B. Keeping in touch with friends and family.
C. Promoting my latest product or announcing a flash sale.
D. Building a full marketing campaign for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
E. Taking over the world.
Okay…so look at your answers. You’ll probably see a pattern because, like most people, you probably tend to be on an even pace with your technology. If you hate it, you avoid it. If you’re comfortable, but not immersed in it, you use it, but in a moderate way. And if you’re addicted, well…you know who you are.
You’re not a fan of technology – in fact, you may be slightly phobic. You’d rather live in the 1980s when digital meant skinny red numbers on an alarm clock.
Here’s the thing - you’ll need to hold your nose and take the plunge. There are a whole lot of wonderful things in the virtual world that can help you run a business successfully…even if you’re an artisan crafter from a sheep farm in upstate New York. Imagine selling hand-dyed yarn for crazy prices on your shiny new website! If this is you, contact me for a crash course in business technology. I promise I’ll be gentle.
You’re on the ground floor, but there are a lot of great things out there that are passing you by. I can get you up to speed faster than you think, and you’ll really see your business take off. You just need to invest a little time and energy in upgrading your equipment and your knowledge. No matter what your work is, we can get you to the next level!
No matter what field you’re in, you’re probably covering all of the basics. You’re hitting all the right notes, dabbling in innovation here and there and generally holding your own. Now’s the time to kick it up a notch and see your business soar! You’ve got the foundation…let’s build on it!
You’re almost falling over the cutting edge – and you’re probably really tech-savvy already. Let’s have a chat about integrating some of your technology or using it in new and creative ways to grow your business. Or we can just plan how to leverage some of the stuff you’re already using to get better results. You’re in a great place – but we can always aim for the Ritz!
Business isn’t just about technology, it’s also about people. Let’s chat about ways to make your technology more approachable. Let’s be more interactive and less automated. The personal touch will always sway the prospective client and win the business. Let’s chat, Skype, or set up a conference call. Just not all at once.
Until next time…