Defining the Appropriate Role for Technology in  Your Growing Small        Business     WORKSHEET              Texas State...
Defining the Appropriate Role for Technology in  Your Growing Small        Business   PRESENTATION              Texas Stat...
Agenda• Introductions & Expectations• Who is “The Customer” ?• What’s The Problem? What are the Symptoms ?• What Can We Do...
Introductions & Expectations                * Ron Hash, Texas State University SBDC                * Ken Partain, www.wema...
Who is “The Customer” ?• Google/Intuit “Texas Get Your Business Online” Conference   – 50% Traditional/Small/Family Busine...
Who is “The Customer” ?Another Perspective on the Disconnect is the Role of  the Corporate Business Analyst …   – Translat...
What’s The Problem?3 Distinct Customer Reactions (Google) …   1.   Super Techy Q&A Folks        (D.I.Y.)   2.   Feverish N...
What’s The Problem?Problem Statement …   1.   “Traditional” small/family businesses (Digital Immigrants) often lack the   ...
What Are the Symptoms?Hopeless Frustration …   “I don’t know why I buy technology, but I know I have to have it”   “I am c...
What Do We Do About This?–    It Depends on Your Business and Your Customers     •   Your Customer Niche (Demographics, Ps...
CEO/Entrepreneur WorksheetOverall / Website      Search / Etc         Social Media                    Texas State SBDC 2012
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Appr role of tech rise 2012

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Appr role of tech rise 2012

  1. 1. Defining the Appropriate Role for Technology in Your Growing Small Business WORKSHEET Texas State SBDC 2012
  2. 2. Defining the Appropriate Role for Technology in Your Growing Small Business PRESENTATION Texas State SBDC 2012
  3. 3. Agenda• Introductions & Expectations• Who is “The Customer” ?• What’s The Problem? What are the Symptoms ?• What Can We Do About This ?-------------------------------------------------------------------------• CEO/Entrepreneur Worksheet-------------------------------------------------------------------------• Q&A…. • How To Get Help ? • What is the Next Step ? • What’s Coming in Technology ? Texas State SBDC 2012
  4. 4. Introductions & Expectations * Ron Hash, Texas State University SBDC * Ken Partain, www.wemakemarketingeasy.com--------------------------------------------------------• Challenge the Hype-Cycle & Herd-Mentality “XXX is Therefore You Have to Do it”• No One Ever Asks … – Is XXX Relevant to Your Business? – What’s The Business Case for XXX? – What’s The Total Cost of Ownership for XXX?• Perspective of CEO/Entrepreneur – Pay, Implement, Maintain• Facilitated Discussion Forum Texas State SBDC 2012
  5. 5. Who is “The Customer” ?• Google/Intuit “Texas Get Your Business Online” Conference – 50% Traditional/Small/Family Business Have No Online Presence • Audience was Post-WWII / Baby Boomers / GenX • Presenters were all GenY (Under Age 30) – The Digital Divide: Digital Immigrants - Vs - Digital Natives – Disconnect: Generational, Conceptual, SemanticCustomer Definition: Traditional Small Businesses who must use and manage constantly evolving technology to further their business goals. These are Small Businesses who lack the resources, competency, or attitude to compete in the online marketplace. But That’s Not The Whole Story. It Goes Both Ways !!! Texas State SBDC 2012
  6. 6. Who is “The Customer” ?Another Perspective on the Disconnect is the Role of the Corporate Business Analyst … – Translate Business Requirements into Technical Specifications, Designs, Databases, Processes. – Scope, Size, Budget, Manage Technology Projects – Measure Technology investments/projects in terms of Impact, Business Case, Total Cost of Ownership This Role Does Not Exist in Entrepreneurship Texas State SBDC 2012
  7. 7. What’s The Problem?3 Distinct Customer Reactions (Google) … 1. Super Techy Q&A Folks (D.I.Y.) 2. Feverish Note Takers (Hire Consultants) 3. Completely Bewildered (Do Nothing)Why … 1. Real Constraints to Running a Real Business: • Money, Time, Competency, Attitude 2. No One Puts Technology into a Business Perspective: • One Size Fits All vs. Business Relevance • Business Case, ROI, Road Map, TCO • Presumption that technology is the Miracle Pill 3. Hype Cycle & Herd Mentality Arguments are Invalid: • The Facebook Argument (idle time factor) • TheTwitter Argument(Justin Bieber vs. Carwash) Texas State SBDC 2012
  8. 8. What’s The Problem?Problem Statement … 1. “Traditional” small/family businesses (Digital Immigrants) often lack the resources, skills, and/or attitudes to compete in the internet marketplace. 2. Technicians and Consultants who offer to help (Digital Natives), often don’t understand the challenges and constraints of “offline” entrepreneurship. 3. There is no intermediary (Analyst) who translates the entrepreneur’s business requirements into manageable technical specifications. The two parties don’t share the same concepts or language to solve the problem.Traditional/Small Business struggle with “Managing Technology” Texas State SBDC 2012
  9. 9. What Are the Symptoms?Hopeless Frustration … “I don’t know why I buy technology, but I know I have to have it” “I am confused by all the inconsistent/incoherent information” “I don’t know what questions to ask or what is even possible” “How do I know if I have hired a good technology person or not?” “No matter how much I spend on technology, it is always inadequate” “Technology is a black-hole of money & time. It’s killing my business” “I can’t keep up, I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m so confused” “I don’t even know what I don’t know”Objective Reality … Many Small Business Websites are Stale, Unproductive, or Trapped Many Entrepreneurs Receive No Feedback on their Technology Investments Technology has become a “significant” investment for many entrepreneurs Many entrepreneurs don’t understand the basic tenets of technology like websites, SEO, SMM, Content, Mobile, Etc. Texas State SBDC 2012
  10. 10. What Do We Do About This?– It Depends on Your Business and Your Customers • Your Customer Niche (Demographics, Psychographics, Buying Behavior) • Your Product or Service (Business Offering, Value Proposition) • Your Business Model (Strategic Advantage, Competitive Differentiation) • Your Resource Commitments & Your Mode of Operations2. You Need to Get Appropriate Help • Technology has become it’s own Functional Domain • Find or Create Information-Sharing, Support, Network • Don’t Reinvent the Wheel – Look for Proven Solutions (Industry) • Hire the Right Consultant / CTO / Analyst For Your Business3. Use Tools to “Make Sense of it all” • Look at Technology as an investment: Business Case Justification • Research, Understand, and Budget for the “Total Cost of Ownership” • Create a Technology Roadmap with Clear/Stated Objectives4. Get Creative Texas State SBDC 2012
  11. 11. CEO/Entrepreneur WorksheetOverall / Website Search / Etc Social Media Texas State SBDC 2012

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