Five Things Technophobes Fail to Understand

It’s been awhile since I talked about technophobes. You know, those business people who hate the Internet and refuse to adopt anything for their businesses more advanced than the Yellow Pages?  Ok, so maybe they’ll get really wild and crazy and start a Facebook Page.  I bet you know at least one business owner like this, am I right?

I don’t know if it’s because I’m back in southern Maine where small towns make up a large majority of business, but instead of finding fewer of these folks I’m finding more. In an attempt to reach some of these stubborn people, here is a list of five things technophobes fail to understand.

  1. The majority of people who use the phone book are seniors. But not all seniors use the phone book. Only those who don’t have the internet. That demographic is getting older and older and the number of people that are likely to find you in the phone book is getting smaller and smaller.  If you are depending on a phone book listing reaching people who need what you offer it’s pretty likely that isn’t happening for you.
  2. Small town newspapers aren’t reaching the audience they used to. Case in point, I recently published a video on my Facebook Page telling the story of the 4th of July Parade in the small town where I grew up. The short story is that the parade committee published an announcement about the Parade with dates and how to participate in the local newspaper.  Lots of people no longer read that newspaper and they couldn’t find any information about the Parade online, leaving them to believe there wasn’t going to be a Parade this year.  Imagine how many more participants and attendees they might have had if they had a small website and a couple of well updated social media accounts.  That Parade committee missed out big time.
  3. Facebook alone isn’t enough. First, Facebook does not take the place of a website. I can’t stress that enough. Second, if you never share information about your business on the page it’s doing nothing.  And third, if all you are sharing are memes and things you think are funny it’s probably doing more harm than good.
  4. Word of Mouth alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Sure, people still ask their friends and family for references, but the days of them relying on those opinions are long gone. Even the suggestions of the most loyal friend still will prompt a search on the web to see what kind of business you are.  What are they looking for online?  They want to see if your business is successful enough for you to have invested in a professional, up to date, business website. They want to know if you connect with your clients and/or customers on social media. They also want to see what kind of reputation you might have online.  Have you searched online to see what people are saying about your business.  If not you might be very surprised by what you find.
  5. What’s working for you now won’t in a few years. I’ve had numerous small town Maine business owners scoff at what I try to tell them, assuring me that what they’ve always done is still bringing them clients/customers.  The problem with that is, they are like a horse with blinders on.  They only see the people right in front of them, coming through the door. They are blind to the scores of people passing right by them and going to the competition because of their shortsighted stubbornness.  It may be working today, but each passing day, month and year will see more and more lost business. They’ll also see the number of people coming through that door decrease as time goes on.

These days technophobia is no reason for failing to adopt online technology for business.  Online technology consultants like me can help you come up with a plan for adopting the technology that fits your business best.  They can also help you maintain websites and social media accounts. They can help you plan special events and other ways to reach out to your audience and target market.

Hating the Internet isn’t a valid excuse anymore. Unless of course you want your business to suffocate and die.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.