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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Meet the new small. Same as the old small? – Pt 2

In case you missed it, here’s my reply to someone replying to my comment yesterday.

Hey Chef! Maybe “reality check” was the wrong choice of words? I should also mention that I had my own retails biz for 10 year and then e-comm for 10. As an independent consultant I think I still qualify as a small biz. Tho’ I prefer entrepreneur ;) I’m not trying to be critical of small biz owners. I know it’s tough. Been there, doin’ that. What confuses me is why so many insist on making it harder on themselves? Why do best practices apply to everyone but themselves?

My point is…these are just tools. A means to an ends. They are not an ends. Even just using them (e.g. Twitter) might not even be the right ends. So while there continues to be “emerging technologies” (as there has always been), it seem that it’s the fundamentals that continue to go under utilized. So many get all sexed up about the latest shinny new object (read: tool/service). But then proceed, for all practical purposes, to use a screwdriver to pound nails. How effective is that?

For example, last night I went out for drinks with two friends. Nice place. Middle upper type of venue. We sat at the bar. Every seat was filled but 15-20 seats plus what looked to be a so-so busy service bar should have been fine for one bartender and a barback. To make a long story short, getting drinks and food was like pulling teeth. I don’t think the bartender came over once to ask, “Everything OK?”

Tell me, technology is going to fix that how?

I also had a friend who had a flower shop. She’d bring her dog to work with her just about every day. While more or less a wuss at heart, the dog’s bark was pretty intimating. As in, “Hello customer, you’re not welcome here.” So while she’s scratching her head trying to figure out how to do more biz I suggested she ditch the dog. She refused. Enough said?

Excuse the double negative but I’m certainly not anti-technology. What I’m against is treating these tools like a panacea. Especially when quite often there are more important parameters that can be adjusted. Not always, but often.

Bottom line… 9 times out of 10 the first shiny object most SMBs should invest in is a mirror.

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