In the many talks that we’ve had with business leaders, we have come to be aware of the most silent and deadly enemy to small business… And it’s called Technology Apathy.
I sit down at a conference table getting ready to deliver my pitch. A pitch that I have worked for months to perfect. It’s just me and the CEO. I am dialed and ready to show him that what my company does is more valuable than he could ever possibly know. We get through the rapport building part of the conversation and we get along great. My hopes begin to rise. After about fifteen minutes of GOOD interaction, I begin to note something isn’t right. All the strategy, all the research that has been invested in my sales deck isn’t having the impact that it should. I ask him question after question and he answers EXACTLY how I want him to. I am beginning to get more and more confused because it feels like everything is going really well but his disposition hasn’t changed. He’s not getting worked up about all of his business problems. He’s not getting excited about the ideas of how my company can uniquely solve those problems. It is starting to get uncomfortable. I look at him again and see it. His eyes have glazed over. He had decided to check out before we even sat down. Then it hits me like an ice cold water balloon straight to the face, he doesn’t care. When it comes to his business, technology and IT are the LAST things on his mind. I could show him a 6 month ROI on a solution that could propel him to 300% of his annual revenue goals and it’s like I’m speaking Japanese to him. I am utterly perplexed. HOW CAN HE NOT CARE?!
I left the meeting and realized that even though he agreed to move forward to the next step, even though he gave me a commitment that he is willing to make a change, I have zero chance of bringing this company on as a client. I get back to the office, discouraged and confused, and sit down at my desk and blankly stare at my computer. What on earth can I do to start making business owners care about something that is absolutely integral to the success of their business? I try to think of a good analogy that will help explain the importance of IT. If the product is the heart of the business, management is the brain, the employees are all of the organs that help the body function, IT is the BONES of the business. Without an infrastructure to center, everything around none of it works. I shake it off and drift back into discontentment, then, miraculously, I have an epiphany…
It’s not his fault he doesn’t care. He isn’t intentionally trying to not care. He has been trained not to care. The dramatic increase in the professional services and software development sectors have bombarded him with “SMB Solutions” that have forced him to filter the content. Anything that has to do with IT, technology, software or solutions is going in one ear and out the other and I don’t blame him for this. On top of the overexposure to “solutions” is the complexity of technology. It is constantly changing, just like his business, and spending the energy to keep up with the latest and greatest is exhausting. Technology becomes overwhelming. Spending money on technology becomes painful. Spending time considering technology becomes the LAST way he wants to spend his day. While all of these perspectives are probably true for him and most small business owners, they still have a problem that needs to be solved. After all, when was the last time you heard a success story about a small business succeeding by ignoring the importance of technology?
Here is the point of the story: the general apathy of small business owners in regards to their IT and technology infrastructure is rampant and dangerous. They have a responsibility to their company to ensure that their employees can do their jobs effectively on a daily basis through the use of modern technology. They have a responsibility to build a technology infrastructure that will attract talent. They have a responsibility to invest in technology that will help increase profitable revenue. They have a responsibility to keep the bones of their company strong.
All that being said, their biggest responsibility in regards to technology is to recognize that they have a problem and bring on a resource that will pull them out of the cloud of technology apathy. The first step is to prioritize the process of bringing on a resource that will accomplish these four business functions:
- Inform them about modern technology
- Strategize about how specific technology will help them achieve their business goals
- Prioritize and implement the technology investments to maximize ROI
- Perform ongoing management on their technology infrastructure
Upward Technology has developed a tangible, transparent process to help you achieve these essential enterprise-level business functions at a fraction of the perceived cost. Reach out to us today for a complimentary consultation to help begin the process of being informed about technology rather than ignoring it.