Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the rainbow array of technology products and accessories you are offerred? I’ve been trying to find you for ages so I can help you make sense of it all. But because you don’t hang out much online, I just didn’t know how.
I credit my roomful of mentors in my Podpora group for helping me to find this target market. I was quite stuck and they suggested volunteering to give some talks to connect. I’m now teaching a course at University of The Third Age and meeting wonderful people who are teaching me so much. Connecting with my class has cleared my mental blocks and shown me the gaps in my preparation so expect new tailored products and services soon. Plus the class is fun and in a lovely location – Sippy Downs. A kangaroo watched part of my first session yesterday.
So thanks to my class and to my Pod! Exciting possibilities are opening up.
Being alone is not the same as being a solo business owner. I am an extravert and almost hesitated to start a business because I didn’t think I could stand the isolation of going out on my own, working from home or not. However, I have joined some wonderful groups, made heaps of new friends and am less isolated than ever. The moral of the story address your concerns and don’t let them stop you. Second moral, networking isn’t all about your next sale. Its about building a support network for each other.
It is important to make sure networking, masterminding and business support groups you join are the right ones FOR YOU and deliver value for money FOR YOU.
There are many groups around and they will suit different businesses and different owners. I recommend you try a few and find one or more that “click ” for you.
My favourite is Podpora http://podporanetwork.com/
I have joined this group in Brisbane and am so excited about it that I plan to become a facilitator and bring it to the Sunshine Coast as well.
Sunday 16 November
Summary Min 24 Max 39 Hot. Partly cloudy.
Very hot. Mostly sunny morning. Slight (20%) chance of a shower in the afternoon. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Winds north to northwesterly 20 to 30 km/h turning westerly 15 to 20 km/h during the day.
Hot and stormy weather! Schoolies Week! Christmas carols, cards and gifts in the shops!
That sounds like a typical Queensland summer. If I’m running a business, what should I be thinking about to make the best use of this weather and time of year?
1) Prepare for potential severe weather. Summer is the highest risk time of year for bushfires, heatwaves, storms floods and cyclones. What are the risks in my area and what can I do to prepare or reduce the risk? I won’t go into too much detail here as I’ve posted on this before. One thing I will say is, be prepared for power interruptions. These are the most likely issue in Brisbane and the South East. In Brisbane, there have been two severe floods in living memory but every summer there are several severe electrical storms in some part of Brisbane, frequently causing localised damage with things like fallen trees and interruptions to power supply.
2) Target your marketing message to clients who might be in “summer mode”. Your clients might have kids on holidays , be going to the beach, or preparing for a huge family Christmas. Social media and blogs might be more effective if they take on a summery tone.
3) Prepare for your own and your staff’s holidays. If someone who normally looks after your IT or social media is going away, what plans do you have in place. Do you want to continue “as normal” or will you just tell your clients you are on a break?
4) Can you target the holiday or gift markets in a new way? I haven’t got the answers on this one – it will be different for each business.
For myself though, I’m exploring how my target market wants to work with me in the holiday season and at other times.
I am holding a free drop in session in Brisbane to connect with my target market and understand their concern.
See www.electroniclighthouse.com.au/Events for details and if you know people who are struggling with tech gifts for children or grandchildren or just have smart phone or tablet questions, invite them to come along!
Yesterday, I attended Click Digital Expo at Brisbane City Hall and found it very worthwhile.
I’d recommend to anyone who is running or planning to start a business in or near Brisbane that you watch out for an announcement of the next event.
The highlights of yesterday for me were
– Meeting Yvette Adams from Creative Collective in person and hearing her excellent talk on social media. I wasn’t her target audience – the quiz on enrollment suggested the red (advanced) seminars for me – but as expected, she was an excellent role model for me in how to communicate technical topics in a clear and engaging way. Top tip : have a code of conduct in place if staff are using social media. Top learning for me : present the problems your technology solves first and then touch on how it works
– Information on SEO and web marketing from Dan Petrovic (Dejan) and Llew Jury (www.reloadmedia.com.au) . In a nutshell, Google has recently changed their search algorithms and SEO for its own sake is no longer effective and can be risky (Google will penalize people they think are cheating). Content is king and infographics on your web site are a helpful tool
– The cloud is a “big thing” . Vend is a cloud based Point of Sale software and if you are an IT specialist, they are looking for more resellers. That’s the one where you can pay on an IPad instead of a traditional register if any of you have seen it in coffee shops.
There are heaps of people providing information about the cloud and how to implement it but generally they are implementation consultants so it is still up to you to determine if cloud is right for you before calling them in. Tony Nissen (R&G Technologies) made some excellent points on how to do this, including setting up a test computer with free trial software and checking that your internet speed is up to it. If you have more than 5 users in your office, you may need a dedicated business internet line. Also, evaluate hardware and software and check for any compatibility issues. If you want a free introduction to the cloud, his web site has a useful resource