Small Business

Musings of a Small Business Technophobe

Musings of a Small Business Technophobe….. by Mark Chester

As a small business owner I know that these days that I need to be relevant online…but it’s all Dutch to me!

Can I start by saying that I am not a tecki person.  I value my smart phone as a key tool.  I understand how Dropbox works, in the same way that I can appreciate the functions of the internal combustion engine.  Fuel goes in, gets processed, and my car moves forward.  If it doesn’t start, the starter motor may need attention.  If it stutters, the fuel flow may be affected.

I am beginning to learn a new language.  Tweets are not just the sounds birds make.  They are 144 characters in length.  I read some of those written by celebrities.  Apparently, a push notification is not the letter that the postman has just left me, passing through the letter flap in the door.

I get excited about trees, especially the really old ones.  And writing, seeing a flow of words.  Stephen gets excited that he has 1500 ‘likes’ on facebook.  But then again, he gets excited about curry! (I don’t).  Stephen once said that his passion was seeing me equipped to pursue my passion.  I like that.  I like old trees, and a day spent at Westonbirt Arboretum (where I’ll be next week) is a treat.  I’m not really fussed whether that’s on Stephen’s bucket list.  That’s his choice.  He doesn’t know what he’s missing, as 50 more ‘likes’ arrive on the facebook page.  And he shares a new gadget in the apple range.

But Stephen knows how to assemble my tree data in an easy to read format.  I shared the idea with him, with a few bullet points. He understood, and produced what I needed.  My clients like it.  Then he explained the importance of apps in communicating with the audience of 2017, and 2018.  This has changed, from even 2016.  I showed his idea to a colleague, who was impressed (not just me, then).  I’ll be launching the app at a major trade event at Westonbirt (the reason to go when it isn’t my birthday).

Stephen once showed me the ‘back end’, as he called it.  He was quite chuffed with his work.  How do I show enthusiathm? :-s Then he asked me to add my text.  Together, the elements work, and we have a fantastic piece of technology.  You see, it doesn’t matter that I don’t understand the technology element.  Stephen does, and he knows what works.  It also doesn’t matter that Stephen has only a limited understanding of trees.  I don’t need him to know about decay strategies or how to identify a tree safety issue.  That’s what I do.  As for Facebook, I’ll let him do the updates for me.

What matters is that when it came to putting a new stand together for the trade show, Stephen was able to guide me through the options.  He gave me his informed perspective and then designed the illustrations.  It was well received at the Trees, People and the Built Environment 3 conference in April.

People I work for don’t need to know about their trees.  That’s where I come in.  And, thanks to Stephen, I don’t need to worry about on-line marketing, facebook and the rest.  Somehow, he gets excited about that.  So I don’t need to feign interest.  I’ll keep typing, and leave Stephen to transform my thoughts to the new work of the app, twitter, facebook, PUSH notifications and whatever else has been thought of since I started.

That’s my musings. I am a Small Business Technophobe…but that’s ok I don’t have to change. If you are too, why not contact I am sure they can help you as much as they have helped me!

Mark Chester

Principal Consultant | Cedarwood Tree Care Ltd