I live, breathe and work at the point where small and mid-sized businesses intersect with technology. It’s an environment that I love, one that’s rich with innovative ideas and approaches to using widely available and affordable technology to rise above challenges in a constantly changing environment.
It is good, however, to occasionally remind myself that there are many small and mid-sized businesses that have not only not taken advantage of the latest and greatest technology but that avoid and resist it.
That was the subject of a conversation that took place recently on Small Biz Nation, whose close to 16,000 members make it one of the more popular of HP’s LinkedIn groups. The discussion on smaller companies resisting technology began at a much more specific level: Michael Lemm, owner of FreedomFire Telecommunications and an active member of Small Biz Nation member, wrote that some research suggests that up to 55 percent of small and mid-sized businesses do not have a website. The possible reasons for resisting establishing a web presence offered by Lemm ranged from a lack of time and money to a lack of faith in a corporate website’s role as much more than an online posting of the address and current office hours.
As is usually the case with the conversations on Small Biz Nation – and the main reason I encourage you to become a member if you aren’t one already – the responses (more than 100 of them in this case) were what took the discussion off in several new directions.
One member of Small Biz Nation reported that many of the small and mid-sized business owners she’s talked with don’t believe an Internet presence is as critical for businesses that sell locally from a brick-and-mortar location.
More than one member reported that many owners of smaller companies still believe that designing, maintaining and updating a website is something that requires an extraordinary amount of time, money and expertise.
It’s true that it is very easy for a business owner with relatively little tech experience to very quickly become overwhelmed. That’s because a website is far more than a url. Sites that are compelling often include an interactive component, usually something connected to social media, a blog perhaps, a search engine optimization (SEO) component and, of course, content that is compelling, relevant and regularly updated. Approached correctly, however, all of these factors can be managed in a way that works for your business.
If you have yet to establish your business on the Web, please take a moment to tell us why. And if you’ve yet to join Small Biz Nation, I encourage you to do so. Simply go to LinkedIn, sign in and search for Small Biz Nation.