Technology lessons from a three year old
My three year old grandson is so excited. Soon he will be able to join the Cherry Picker group at his Kindy. Not sure what it was, I asked him “What is Cherry Picker class Ollie?” Shrugging his shoulders he said he didn’t know, but he was excited anyway. His Mum explained that it was a technology class for the kids. In the class they play on tablets, computers and mobile phones and learn how to use the technology through games and simply by interacting with it. I quietly thought to myself, perhaps his Poppa could attend class with him, since there were a few things he could learn… but I digress.
On one hand we have pre-schoolers becoming adept at technology, which is part of their everyday lives. On the other hand, a survey released by Yellow last month found that half of New Zealand’s SME’s don’t even have a website. Which makes me wonder if there is a business opportunity for Cherry Picker classes for small to medium business owners.
Tenby Powell, a SME advocate, was quoted in the Business News (Sunday Star times June 9th) saying it “really is critical that companies have some form of digital presence so they can be found by customers.” The article goes on to tell us that 57 per cent of Kiwis use the web to search for products and services, and of those, 17 per cent use the web exclusively.
In my own unofficial survey (talking to friends and business colleagues), they all say the first place they look is Dr Google. So why don’t these businesses get on line? What are the barriers? Personally, I think some SME owners don’t know where to start, assume it will cost a lot of money, and feel a bit out of depth because it doesn’t fit with their skills.
So how do we break down the barriers? Do what most of us without DIY skills do – pay someone with the appropriate expertise to do the job. It is often more cost and time effective to pay someone with the skill sets we don’t have, to do what we can’t do. Dare I say it, the Kiwi number 8 wire attitude won’t always work in this instance. Unless you have design flair, can build websites or find your way around templates easily, a web designer and/or developer may well save you money in the long run. They can also advise you on the various capabilities your site may need like email forms, online shopping and so on. There is something to suit most budgets.
And, unless you are a skilled writer, pay someone to write the content. Nothing looks more unprofessional than clumsy text, spelling and grammar errors or loads of jargon. A good content writer understands plain English principles and SEO (search engine optimisation) which, in conjunction with a good site, will help increase your page rankings. We also understand about writing for your audience and the importance of flow of information.
So, don’t put it off any longer. Get on line and talk to your three year old. They can probably get you started.
Sue Avison is the Director of Say It Once – business, content and publication writing.