I am sitting at my favorite coffee shop this morning thinking about the week ahead of me. As I have been watching people this morning, I have noticed the number of baby boomers who have pulled out their laptops and smart phones to talk, check emails, text, and even go online. I can remember not so long ago when people in my age group were still waiting for the demise of technology and the return to yellow pads and pencils!
It is good to see that we are catching up with the younger generations of adults, because, like it or not this is the way business is going to be done from now on.
I remember being told that if a client called you that if you returned that call within 24 hours, you were on top of things. Now days if you do not answer back within an hour (two at the most) they might be doing business with someone else. Business today runs, as Bill Gates said, “at the speed of thought.” If we boomers are going to be successful in the development of our second careers, we have to keep up.
So, what are the three most important steps a baby boom entrepreneur can take to keep pace with the every changing world of technology?
1. Get informed. It is not enough to understand how to get online, you must take the time necessary to learn how to use the web, smart phones, texting, tweeting, blogs, etc. to the benefit of your customers and your business. Most people shy away from these because they don’t understand them. Once you get informed and allow your creative mind to embrace technology, you will be able to stand out among your competition.
2. Get involved. Once you learn what the options are in the technological world of modern business, get involved! Find one or two new ways to connect with your customers and become proficient at them. As you get better at providing information and service through those outlets, consider adding a couple more. Before long you will be readily available to your customers when they need you and if you are taking time off, you will have the technology in place that will be able to care for your customers while you are away.
3. Educate your team/customers. Just as you have been resistant to the “new” technology, your team and customers may be resistant as well. You need to patiently educate them so that they become aware of the benefits of the options that technology offers them as well.
I think that there is no better illustration than the day I got a text from my 76 year old mother. She had resisted the use of a cell phone for years. She kept her phone off most of the time and only used it for “emergency” calls. Then, all of a sudden, I get this text that says, “Hello David, this is your mother, I’m texting!” Since then I get pictures and texts from her whenever she needs for me to know something right away. Now, if my Mom can see the benefit of this new technology, surely a young vibrant baby boom entrepreneur can see it as well.
Talk more later ….