Keeping up with the game – the fear factor

The best businesses adapt to change

The last figures I saw indicated that 80% of people in the UK had access to or used computers. That leaves 20% who don’t. The figures are pretty much the same in the US.

I guess that doesn’t mean that everyone is on-line all the time. It doesn’t mean that lots of people spend lots of time in front of a screen. Of course many use their smartphones, many spend hours a day on Facebook and many are gamers without another life.

I guess there are an awful lot who do not want to get under the skin of their technology and especially the social media side. Strangely in this category there are the moderate technophobes who use the interweb because they think that they have to, and the techno-geeks who are so paranoid about internet security that they never use social media at all. I guess both these categories are mainly over thirty now, because the kids are weaned on computer technology.

I meet quite a lot of people in business for themselves who do not embrace on-line stuff. They may have their email account with AOL because everyone else does, but that is far as it goes. I know firms of accountants who do not even have a website. Don’t they understand that if business is drying up, it is because they are not being found? It is not because they are less visible. It is because everyone else is more visible and they are lost in the noise.

The trouble is that the technophobes are probably afraid to try anything new in their businesses, whether it is marketing mailshots or networking. They are against change, but too often if businesses do not adapt to change they fail; even the oldest-established and that is because their customers and their potential market have changed.

We all need new ideas. If we haven’t thought of any good ones ourselves then we should ask for help.

It is just a question of getting over the fear of trying something new. If my Dad, in his late eighties, can do the supermarket shopping order on-line and get his Christmas shopping from other on-line stores, surely any business owner can try a new strategy? Don’t be afraid!

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