Get Out There And Make It Happen!
A laid back Saturday for me but thought I would quickly relate a story from this past week that led to a larger post here than I planned. Several weeks back when I did the seminar in Cape Girardeau, MO discussing topics such as local search, social media, domain names, and other online business topics I had met a gentleman who had a business that had been running out of the same small shop for many years.
Well, when I say many years I should define further, more years than I had even been alive (I am 36, so this business has been running successfully for many decades). The owner was in his late 70s and explained that although he did not have Internet access in the office or at his home, after listening to this seminar he understood that he was likely missing customers that were looking for his products online and finding his competitors.
What he had learned was that he needed to start thinking like his customers, after many years the way business was being done had shifted and there was an opportunity to grow, even if just incrementally, by having a presence online.
The next week my account manager for the area sat down with the customer and defined a plan to help him get online, it was more than a website, more than an ad, it was a solution to a problem and not just a product (that is a post for another day).
What is exciting about this is before we could even turn his website over to him he had already started getting calls and emails. Let me repeat, his products were in such demand before we could even hand it over to him he was getting business from it.
What does this mean, well first off it means that a person does not have to spend 20 thousand dollars to find value in doing business online. But even more so I think it shows that even people that have never had a presence online, businesses that have been around for decades, can still find value in doing something, even if it is small, online.
As I have said before, sometimes those of us that spend our life online like to talk about how others just do not get it. I look at things a lot differently these days, I say “What can I do to help educate the people who need it most?”
Everyone continues to sit back behind their computer screens and type away but the large (I would venture more than 99 percent) never get out with the majority to make things happen. They like to talk about end users, customers, etc but who is taking the initiative to connect with the larger populace?
And I am not talking other tech focused crowds (although when it comes to domain names in general there is much value in that and kudos to Chef Patrick for starting down that path this week.) I am more talking about connecting with local Chambers of Commerce, local business organizations. In other words, groups that are outside your comfort zone of tech friends?
It benefits us all the more the general populace is educated on the value of doing business online, heck I do not even mind when I see competitors out doing the same. Sure they will get some business but it also makes my life easy when I go in to talk to the same business later.
Once again, what are you doing to grow your business outside of the online community? Are you sitting back and waiting for it to come or are you making it happen?