Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is Technology Too Confusing to Use?

By: Stan Washington
Date: October 10, 2013

After meeting with a number of small business owners, it became very apparent they were not using technology to it's fullest. No offense to the dinosaur tools of paper phone-books and newspapers but I can't remember the last time I used either for my business needs.

Technology is supposed to make our lives so much easier, but is it making it more complicated?

I did an informal poll at a conference of small business owners and found some surprising results around technology.  This is my world and according to my narrow thinking, everyone was using it to its fullest! Well my technology utopia was shattered when I talked with people.

Business Website - I was thoroughly surprised to find a whopping 38% of the people we polled still have not invested in a website of some kind.  There are so many tools to build sites yourself, but then again we believe in technology!

Facebook Page - I was not as surprised to find 45% of those polled still did not use a Facebook page. Content tends to be the issue. Many small business owners don't like creating their own content to post.

Twitter Account - The low number of 43% of our poll takers using a Twitter Account was not a surprise.  Since they are afraid of generating content for Facebook, then they feel the same way about Twitter.

LinkedIn Page - Some of our poll takers did not even know this was an option for them.  They confused having a business page with being part of a discussion group.

E-Mail Marketing - This was another surprise to me.  Those who did not have a website used E-mail marketing to spread the word about their business.  I still wondered what they are using as a landing page to discuss their products and services.

We have seen as much as a 40% increase in business awareness of those who use e-mail marketing campaigns over those who use referral only.

Online Invoicing - Word documents converted to PDF was the prevalent method of doing invoices.  Many were still concerned about the cost of using credit/debit cards. What is the cost of not accepting this form of payment? According to

Credit card users surveyed in 2012 who used their cards to buy:
    Clothing: 67 percent
    Gas: 64 percent
    Food: 64 percent
    Travel: 62 percent

Credit and debit cards are here to stay.  Cost avoidance may mean business avoidance.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - E-mail phone-books and lists were still the tool of choice.  Some said they tried CRM but felt it didn't do much for them. Our experience is different.

Jobs and business deals have a common number... 80% are found through relationships. Managing relationships through a contact management system keeps information organized and available.

Please visit us at today to make sense out of technology.

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