In a world that’s rapidly shrinking thanks to digital technology, you’d think every business on the planet would rush to get online. It makes sense that businesses that have already adopted information technology would keep upgrading, too, to stay ahead of industry trends. But you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that aren’t enthusiastic about their IT infrastructure and even go out of their way to avoid it totally.
Before you jump to the conclusion that any business owner who shuns technology is off their rockers, you should know that there are some valid reasons for not adopting certain tech. So if you’re on the fence about whether you’d benefit from building up your online presence, keep reading and learn about reasons you might (or might not) want to invest in digital media.
Good reasons NOT to be online
Below are good reasons for you and your business to stay offline. It might not be ideal, but in some instances, there’s simply nothing you can do. These reasons include:
- Low economic status: Your business runs out of a country with one of the world’s underdeveloped economies, with few people who can afford to shop online.
- Bad internet connectivity: You, your business and your target customers exist in a country with poor internet infrastructure.
- No financial support: Your business runs out of a country that doesn’t allow payment portals or doesn’t have online payment options available to the general public.
- Underdeveloped transportation: Your business can’t deliver goods or products because there is no developed transportation infrastructure.
- International sanctions: You work in or from a country that is under international sanctions.
- A shaky local currency: Your business is trading with a weak or unstable currency that no one wants to take a risk on.
As a business owner, the only option you would have in these situations is to either move to another country – physically or digitally – or trudge along as well as you can.
Bad reasons NOT to be online
The following are simply not good enough reasons to shun ecommerce because either you or the way you handle your business’ IT setup is at fault. They are all correctable and include:
- Technological challenges: Lack of tech knowledge keeps many businesses from being online. The only solution here is to educate yourself on how technology can take your business forward.
- Software and hardware unawareness: You may know that technology will indeed help you, but you have no knowledge about the specific software and hardware that can help you succeed online. This is usually solved by hiring a consultant to assess your situation and make some recommendations.
- Technophobia: You can’t run a business if you’re too afraid or wary of technology simply because of what the news headlines say. Learn about building a secure business, hire professionals and get on with the job.
- Running blind: Running an online business is very different from running an offline one. Once you go online, it is a whole new game and you need to redesign your whole strategy – from raw material intake to final product delivery.
- High costs: Thinking it’s too costly to invest in technology and that it will never be worth it is probably the biggest mistake you will ever make. In the long run, modernization will always pay off, so pay up.
- Unwilling to embrace change: Clinging on to the old way of doing things simply because it is tradition or “the way we have been doing it for generations” won’t earn you much admiration. If you want to impress your customers, keep the craft ancient, but modernize your process. Every step from beginning to end should be empowered by technology.
If you happen to have opted to stay offline for any of these reasons, then you really need to reevaluate your business’ growth prospects. Without advancing to the online world, you’re dooming your business and keeping it from reaching its full potential.
You need to get online.
Let’s face it, if you are not willing to jump into the 21st century, you will be left behind. That means your competition will take your business.
- They will have access to a larger market.
- They will be able to cut prices.
- They will have a better check-and-balance and accounting system in place that will keep them informed about their business.
- They will be able to advertise on a global scale.
- They will be able to deliver their products faster.
- They will be preferred by customers for accessibility and ease of use.
This is the age of computer technology. Life is being made easier and more comfortable thanks to smart phones and tablets. Unless your product or service is uniquely vintage or handcrafted, you will need to adopt a more modern way of doing things if you want to stay afloat. Even then, see if you can’t take the step forward by partially modernizing your business process.