By Ashur Lazar
Business has come along way from reliance on the old manual filing systems and having to wait for the daily postal mail services to arrive at the office so we could check and distribute the office mail. But even with modern technology advances, many present day businesses are still lagging behind the Information Technology (IT) revolution on our business doorsteps today.
With today’s fast paced business world, it is essential that both Indigenous corporate businesses and community based enterprises are electronically connected for business with their essential Internet tools and business needs of email, and a website in place for doing business.
In fact, the Internet is the great disrupter of the modern world. In little more than 15 years, it has dramatically changed the way that Australians work and play. The rapid rate of new innovations that is has brought on, has changed how we purchase products, how we communicate with business colleagues and friends, and how businesses attract new customers.
I’ll throw some statistics your way. Eighty percent of households in Australia have access to the internet, that’s seventeen million people as of 2009. Ten million Australians use Facebook as of 2011. The rapid uptake of smartphones like the iPhone and iPad have left most businesses without a strategy when it comes to these new mediums and social hubs.
Between 2002 and 2009 yellow pages usage within Sydney has declined by 69%. We’ve all seen the reduced size of the book every year and this decline will just accelerate in the coming years.
In this fast paced environment it is imperative that Indigenous businesses at a minimum, have a competent website and an email address for potential customers and business colleagues to contact them.
Old methods such as just relying on the yellow pages to find businesses or handing out printed material just won’t do anymore. The other issue is the shifting demographic of the customer base. As more and more people are born and raised with the Internet as their primary method of communicating with the world, if you don’t have a website you just won’t be seen.
The benefits that businesses, small or large can get from a website are enormous if you use it to it’s full potential. Unlike printed material it can change as your business changes. So it can start as a brochure website conveying what your business does to an important part of your sales process. You can communicate directly with your customers in getting feedback on new services and products immediately, without spending very much money at all. You can even find out who is visiting your website, what they are clicking on, where they are coming from and much more. This information is invaluable for businesses, particularly for marketing purposes, and it can be seen on a daily basis.
I’ll leave you with this famous quote.
Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi