WHY SITTING AT YOUR DESK IS THE SLOW WAY TO GROW
10 years ago the entrepreneur at the top of their game used a word document and an email to wow potential clients, suppliers and competitors alike to make his mark in this world of business.
These days, those practices are natural, given communication tools and standard practice at best. The world, and especially the world of business, is a million miles away from the previous decade that many of us know, the speed of change is ever increasing and is certain not to slow down anytime soon or ever.
We do on our smartphones in 2018 what computer geniuses and technology leaders would never have dreamed of little over 50 years ago. Imagine the entire buildings full of computing machines, and the army of staff and gurus needed to keep them running that had less information processing power, than the electronic watch on your wrist right now, less than 100 years ago. Let’s just think about that for a minute and how much we have done, and how far we have come as a species.
My Father lives in Canada, a great country for skiing, walking, relaxing and brown bears, not so great for their mobile network coverage or quick impulsive decision making, which is probably why my old man loves it there.
You see, I would describe my Dad as an entrepreneurial epileptic, he has seizures of genius, ideas that come to him in a flash, followed by a speech about how this will be the idea that sets him up for life, in the way that Gerber talks of in the E-myth (great book by the way). Usually this ends in him spending a month or four working out how it will appeal to the masses and sell, only for him to get bored and the whole scheme fades into the 6ft drift of snow in his back garden, especially at this time of year!!
Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist about my flippant use of the word epileptic or Canadians, you should know that I am in fact epileptic myself, not in an entrepreneurial way but in an actual way, so the comparison for me is very real… I know how it feels to have a seizure that only lasts for a short while!
The point is, that I can speak to him with a real time live visual interface, simply by picking up my phone at any time of day or night and it only takes about 5 seconds to connect. Now, less than 80 years ago this would have taken 5 weeks or more just to send a letter to someone that far away without visual representation, or real time audio, never mind 5 secs!! Fuck me, I have Grandparents older than that!!
So what are people moaning at??
I’ll say it now, and don’t apologise for it. We live in the single greatest era of entrepreneurship, it’s easier now than it has ever been, so if you’re not using the tools available to you on all platforms, you can’t complain about not getting the results you want.
This month I’m going to talk about how you can quite easily and successfully run ANY business from your phone with as little as 5 hours in front of a desktop/ laptop per week.
APP’s, phone apps to be precise, the most fantastic invention for the entrepreneur since the wheel. Want to market your business, do your accounts, talk to your customers direct, track staff hours, do a productivity study, engage with your fellow mastermind members????
There’s an app for that.
Not only a PC/Mac app, an app that you can launch and use from your phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
From choosing a new pair of pants, to answering a HR question from an employee, it can all be done from any room, anywhere, any time. The 9-5 is now the 24/7 and so it should be.
As I’m sure you are aware by now, my main business interests lie in the food sector, primarily the meat industry. Let’s be honest, there aren’t many industries as old and stuck in their ways as those in my sector. Many are self- employed sole traders with nothing but the skills they have been passed down by their old boss to pay the bills on a monthly basis, which is why it is often classed as a “dying” industry.
I do 95% of all my business activity on my phone
Let me tell you now, it’s not dying at all, it’s thriving if you look in the right places.
The problem is, that all of that knowledge is kept tightly bundled in an apron string because many are too busy making sausages to look at how they can streamline the running of the business through the application of technology.
Jesus, there are butchers in this country that turn over £1m p/a and still use a paper 707 book to record their operations, I mean for fuck sake!! I bet 50%, no 80% of you reading this have never even heard of a 707 never mind used one!!
An industry only ever dies or shrinks because it doesn’t move with the times or embrace the technology available to it. If you ever hear any other reason, it’s an excuse not a reason.
Let’s have a look at how my business has moved from strength to strength by simply accepting that we no longer live in the 1950’s.
I have an online business, I’ve never met 90% of my customers and I’ve never spoken to 70% of them, but they buy from me because they feel they know and connect with me.
How? I hear you cry, well it’s because they know the digital me, they know the Facebook version of me, the Instagram version of me, the Xero version of me.
All of these social profiles have been created and built through the use of my phone and my time. I don‘t have 1000‘s of Facebook and Instagram followers because I paid a marketing company £1000’s to get them for me, it’s because at 2am I’m responding to a question someone has asked that has been shown to me on my phone. It’s personal and that’s what makes a difference.
I do 95% of all my business activity on my phone. Accounts, invoicing, printing, staff wages, bank payments, order fulfillment.
As a full time e-commerce business, I do most of my daily business tasks online and it saves me time, money and effort. Now I’m not bothered about the money but time???? That’s HUGE, for everything else there is Mastercard right?
The great thing about this era is that it’ll only get easier as technology progresses and more functionality is built into simple apps for your business. At this moment in time it’s very possible to run your business from your phone, with very little time spent sitting at a desk like those who came before us. You and I can easily buy and sell, fire and hire from anywhere in the world, including your favourite beach, bar or woodland cabin.
Just as I have not met the majority of my customers, the same is true of my suppliers and outside professionals I use to keep the business running smoothly and profitable. My accountant lives 100 miles away from my business and yet we regularly communicate and decide on the financial direction of the company and everything associated with it, as if we were in the same room. The use of the tech available to us today does away with the caveman nine to five working day, and the time restraints that it brings.
If you want to free your time from ‘work’ and be able to treat Monday to Friday as if it were Saturday or Sunday, then I suggest you take a long hard look at how you are using the tools available to you in your everyday life. Are you being effective? Are you using the time you have in the most productive way possible? Could something as simple as an App on your phone make you more profitable?
It would be a very smart move to stay in touch with the tech sector and utilise it in any way you can. Audit your use of it on a regular basis, remember it never stands still or remains the same. Find something that you can implement that will work for you, and it’ll do exactly that, work for you. While those who moan about technology decreasing the need for physical labour in the world of today, simply stand still… use it to your advantage and you’ll soon find yourself on the next level.