Sometimes the best advice you can give a business owner is simply pointing to the calendar on the wall. If you could take a quick glance at a calendar near you right now, you are likely to notice that no matter the month, the year will always be displayed in the biggest font size.
What this implies is that, the most important piece of information on the calendar, much as it may seem so obvious, is the year. You may ask me what it is that is so significant about 2011. Well, you must have noticed that the people power revolutions that have swept the Arab world with the ferocity of a forest fire and have already condemned two dictators to the annals of history.
Many have been quick to point out the role of social media and the internet in the success of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt. With the urban youth making up the core numbers of the protesters, the internet has been the main tool used to mobilise the angry masses.
Years ago when the television had just been invented, talk was always about how the revolution would be televised. But now in 2011, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were not only televised but also Facebooked, Tweeted and Googled!
Away from the streets, business people need to ask themselves whether the businesses they run can be Facebooked, Tweeted or Googled. If the answer is no, then you are in trouble because we are in 2011 and you are definitely not moving with the times. The world is now a global village and when we talk of globalisation we are often just acknowledging the power of services like the internet.
Therefore, does your business have a website? And in case it does, how functional is it? How often is it updated and upgraded? How easy is it to find the website when using a search engine? Does it have all the trendy inclusions like links to Facebook or Twitter? Is it interactive enough to allow you to receive feedback from clients? More importantly, can clients far away make online payments or bookings?
If you cannot answer most of the above questions in the affirmative, then you are in trouble. It is time you hired someone to fix your company website. A website is not like a physical address, it needs to be maintained, upgraded and so much more.
It was interesting to find out, for instance, that someone in South Africa was having trouble to make an online booking with one of the airlines operating in Rwanda. The management later responded by saying their site was being upgraded to fix the anomalies. The question is, why wait for a complaint before informing the general public that your website is no longer fully functional?
Is it not sheer foolishness for a company CEO to move around with a Blackberry on his hip and an Ipad yet the company he runs has a bogus website or none at all? Remember it is 2011 and the internet can no longer be ignored.