Small Business Owners Need Not Be Scared of Information Technology

This year Ford introduces inflatable seat belts for the rear seat occupants, Toyota Prius will sport the solar powered ventilation system, Chrysler will launch the adjustable air suspension and Mercedes-Benz will unveil its hybrid. You are not intimidated by all this high technology, are you? You say, “Bring it on. I love the technology for the safety, fuel economy and convenience that it brings.”Do You Find IT Intimidating Technology?Then why is it that many small businesses are scared of information technology. No, I don’t have survey results to support that. But there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest this is the case. In fact, it is so bad, IT seems to stand for Intimidating Technology for some of you. Yes, I agree that some of the IT technical jargon can be intimidating. But so will the automotive jargon. Sometimes the pace of change in IT itself can add to the intimidation factor. But then the pace of change in automotive markets is no less either.Let us take the example of building your company web site. Some of you may be technically savvy and handle the whole thing soup-to-nuts. This is understandable – so do car enthusiasts. This is a very small percentage of the people who are either IT business owners or happen to be technically savvy.But for the vast majority of you, when you buy a car, you intend to drive it. You focus on its features and the accessories you need and you are prepared for an occasional tire change or engine oil top-up. You don’t worry about how to fix the transmission or swap the engine. This is a healthy attitude to technology, any technology.I find that some small business owners are so scared of technology that they either don’t have a web site at all or entrust the entire thing to the techies. You are the person most familiar with your business. You know the nuances of your market and the right ways to communicate with your clients and prospects. You need to be familiar with the different tools available and their pros and cons and you need do the evaluation, just like you will test drive the car you intend to buy. Let the techie install, configure and secure the web site for you. Then you step in and create the content. Modern tools allow any non-technical person to create content and publish it to the web site. Let the techie then help with maintenance, support and upgrade.Convert It To Indispensable Technology!When hybrid technology made its appearance in cars a few years ago, it gave a big boost to fuel efficiency. In a similar manner, information technology is enabling you to reach markets inaccessible earlier, make you as effective on the road as you are in the office and automate your operations seamlessly from end-to-end. Approach IT just like buying a car. Instead of Intimidating Technology, it will become Indispensable Technology.