Just the other day, a friend called wanting to talk about her latest business idea for an online health site and wellness store. As with any new business venture, the conversation quickly turned to the ever-increasing list of technologies needed to launch a business that looks “real” to the outside world. Company name. Logo. Domain name. Email addresses. Website. Blog. Social media. The list goes on.
I’ve had countless conversations like this over the years. And each year the list gets longer.
A few years ago, just having a website was good enough. Smartphones didn’t exist, nor did Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the slew of other social media sites. It’s a noisy, confusing world out there today!
For some perspective, on an average day, Twitter sees 500 million tweets with an average of 5,700 tweets per second. Good luck trying to keep up with that!
And that’s when it hit me. Half way through the conversation with my friend, I sensed her entrepreneurial optimism morphing into confusion and overwhelming concern. The molehill was turning into Mt. Everest.
But the problem isn’t with the technology. It’s in our ability to keep up with it.
The 3 B’s approach (baseline/back/bend)
Baseline: First, we need to establish a baseline. What web tools and technologies are available RIGHT NOW to help our business? The best way to know is to develop a trusting relationship with someone that understands the space, perhaps with a consulting firm, business coach, web design company, friend or colleague. Work with them to get the baseline systems in place now.
This usually means having a great-looking brand, website and email system at the very least. Depending on your business, email marketing, blogging and social media could very well be included in the mix. And, let’s not forget about the amazing web tools for project management, bookkeeping and more.
Whatever you decide to implement, do it quickly and get back to work. Make widgets. Sell services. Make money. And, unless you have a passion for it, don’t worry too much about the daily advances in technology. You’ll drive yourself nuts.
Back: After three months, reconnect with your tech guru and ask him/her what’s been happening. Get a sense of what the “cool kids” are doing and you’ll start to notice trends. If nothing applies to your business right now, no problem. Repeat the process in another three months. However, if something does apply, it’s time to bend.
Bend: When you discover something that will benefit your business today, implement it. Don’t wait around. Bend and keep up with the times. You’ll be more efficient, more visible in the marketplace and ahead of your competitors.
Power to the people (who use it)
The power and opportunity that today’s amazing technology presents to each of us is simply incredible. No matter how small or big our dreams, we can do things today that our parents and grandparents could only dream of.
However, there’s undoubtedly a small part in each of us that romanticizes about the “good old days” when flipping the OPEN sign on the door and placing an ad in the Yellow Pages was more than enough for success. Simpler times.
But those days are behind us and, dare I say, better days are ahead. We just need to keep up.
As Billy Joel wrote in his 1983 song Keeping the Faith, “You know the good ole days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”