Here I was excited about the new year and all the optimism that the first week of the new year brings when I saw the BusinessWeek article by Gene Marks - Tech solutions your business can't use, which was loaded with so much gloom and doom about why you shouldn't use silly things like...I don't know....Spam or Virus Blockers...that I felt dumber by just reading it. Fortunately there were other smart, technology savvy bloggers out there today to balance it all out. I particularly liked the post from Small Biz Labs , or even just the witty smackdown of DuctTape Marketing's John Jantsch.
I've worked with other CPA's and dozens of small business owners who would feel the opposite for most of what was said in the article, and I'm a little shocked that BusinessWeek would publish it since I respect the quality of their content. Take Gene's remark that people should just delete spam as it comes in. Lets look at this from a numbers perspective. I have spoken with business owners myself that thought that spending about 30 minutes a day deleting spam was "normal"....."acceptable". Well, its not, and small business owners deserve better. You can get a great spam filter hosted for you offsite with Barracuda or Postini, or others, for around $1.95 per mailbox per month.....filtering viruses too since viruses enter via email. On the other hand....30 minutes a day...perhaps 10 employees...that could equal $5 per DAY or more (for $10/hour). I would think a CPA would be able to work those numbers.
Other sections like how adwords or SEO (search engine optimization) don't work are off base as well. No, you don't have to be a multinational conglomerate to afford them. Many companies can manage the SEO and PPC (pay per click) stuff for you. If your business thrives on online marketing, this might make a sound investment. Otherwise...you just have to be smart. There is plenty of free advice out there on how to do this stuff...its not as mysterious as Gene makes of it. The key is to create content that people want to find online.
So, I'll forge onward with my New Year. Am I saying not to have a healthy skepticism of new technologies? Of course not. Small businesses should be as skeptical of them as they are of articles like this one.