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Don’t let technology intimidate you……………

Many small business owners are intimidated by technology. One of the most frequent reasons given for this intimidation is “I’m too old”. Age doesn’t have much to do with ability; fear is often caused by the unknown, the fear of trying something new. Change is an ever increasing occurrence and unless small business owners jump into the “mix”, they will be playing catch up instead of working on their businesses. When words like tablets, or smart phones come up in conversation, let your competitors be “too old”; get excited about an opportunity to learn something new!

When I bought my first smart phone, my daughter bought and gave me a 200 plus page instruction manual on how to get the most out of my phone.  I did look at it and, after almost an hour of frustration, I threw the instruction manual in the round file under my desk. We have to become more like my six year old grandson who mastered his mother’s i-phone by the age of 5 and this past Christmas, received an i-pad and already is extremely proficient at a multitude of functions.

The moral to this story is to throw away the instruction manual and start experimenting.  If you get totally lost, go to YouTube and find a video that shows you how to do what you want to do.

Social media should be embraced, not discarded as something that does not provide any possible business benefits. Old techniques such as making cold calls on the phone or in person are a thing of the past. More and more small and large businesses are establishing a presence using Social Media.

Join a Linkedin discussion group and become the” answer” person in your specialty. I have heard from many Facebook Business page users that it is a great source for referrals. Twitter gives you an opportunity to share “words of wisdom” on a regular basis.

My message is that you are not too old and you are smart enough to start using these tools to grow your business. The benefits are many and your customers/clients will have an increased confidence in your abilities.

The following is a simple strategy to build your on-line presence in 20 minutes a day:

  • Comment on two blogs
  • One tweet
  • Post something on a fan page on Facebook
  • Share information in a Linkedin discussion group

Do this every day for 30 days and your attitude towards social media will change.

Nick J. Petra CFP

Make it a Successful 2013!


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