Most small business owners know that technology is important. But this knowledge does not always translate into action. I personally have no fear of trying “the next new thing,” and utterly failing at it. But it's not that easy for everyone. That's one reason I invited Phil Simon to be on my podcast.
Phil is the author of The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies (affiliate link), which offers insightful tips to help you embrace all that new technology can do for your small business. Here is an overview of some of what Phil shared in the podcast.
- Start small. Resist the temptation to dive in and start using everything all at once. Begin by watching what others do successfully. Phil reminds us that we can look at how some very large companies use technology to engage and create community. We do not have the financial resources of such companies, but we don't need them. We can be at least creative as they are when it comes to figuring out how to efficiently reach prospective customers on a budget.
- Be innovative, not pushy. On the show (and in his book), Phil tells some of the story of Tony, the “Chief Seafood Officer, owner of a restaurant on Maryland's eastern shore. Tony blogs and uses video to expose his restaurant to more and more people. Phil says Tony is innovative without being pushy. In other words, the content he shares is not solely about him and his restaurant. He shares recipes too, and even works to introduce his customers to one another. Phil says that Tony's costs have decreased over time, and his marketing budget is practically zero.
- Think long-term. Phil points out the importance of being present in your use of technology. In other words, today, your customers want to have a relationship with you. They want to know that you are behind the personalities that are displayed on your FaceBook Page and your Twitter stream.
Phil says technology enhances, but does not supplant the need for human interaction. It's all about people, after all. Phil's remarks in this regard, including how we you can use automation without losing the personal touch, were very useful, and I encourage you to listen to the podcast so you don't miss them.
About Phil Simon
Phil Simon writes about the intersection of business and technology. In addition to The New Small, he is the author of “Why New Systems Fail,” and “The Next Wave of Technologies.” He is also an independent consultant, and a public speaker who focuses on how organizations use technology. You can connect with Phil on Twitter, and don't forget to visit his website at The New Small.
How to Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the information Phil shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire show using one of these options:
- Download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- Click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen now!
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Coming Up March 21!
March is Women's History Month, and on March 21 at 1:00pm EST, we'll celebrate when my guest will be Susan B. Butler, author of Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World (affiliate link). We'll discuss how it's time to move away from “counting women,” to making sure “women count.” I cannot wait to chat with this amazing woman leader, and I hope you will join us!
See you then!
Question: What do you think of Phil's tips? What questions or tips do you have about using social media to advance your business?