TECHNOLOGY AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA MOVEMENT CONTINUE TO REMIND US DAILY THAT THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. WHY DO CONTRACTORS HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME ADAPTING TO CHANGE?
Google was registered as a domain in 1997 and soon after was formed as a company in September 1998. Take a minute to think about the fact that the most frequently used informational system that has ever existed DID NOT EXIST just over 20 years ago.
Here are a few other dates that should make you think about how FAST the world is changing…and in turn how human behavior has drastically changed with it.
Facebook was founded in 2004 and in September 2006 they opened the platform to the public. 13 years ago the most widely used social media platform on the planet didn’t even exist. Today there are more than 214 million users just in the United States and more than 75% of those users state that they use the platform every single day. Every day since this company was founded it has continued to evolve our world. Whether you like it or not, it is a part of the fabric of daily life in 2019.
Yelp was also founded in 2004. Restaurant marketing and how we all choose what restaurants to visit when out of town would never be the same again once this application and website hit the internet.
In 2006, Twitter was introduced as the first quick communication tool on the internet. That started the “make it quick” movement in our society.
Just after midnight on October 6, 2010, Kevin Systrom signed into his Apple App Store control panel and Instagram was founded. Just 551 days later on April 9, 2012, Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion. At the time of that sale, Instagram was still a 13 person startup. The sale of this company has made every entrepreneur in the world think differently about the potential of what they can do with their own companies. This application has changed the way that the world communicates and interacts. This application has personally introduced me to some of the closest friends and business acquaintances I have in my life today.
I give you the example of these dates and the names of these companies with good reason. Many contractors still approach their businesses the same way they did 20 years ago. The majority of these contractors don’t even take the time to think about how much the business landscape has changed.
Everything about the way that potential clients make decisions has drastically changed. From how they find who they want to work with to how much information they can gather about your company before you ever meet you. If you don’t have a strong online presence in today’s world, you will get mopped off the floor by companies that do. Why? Because clients will naturally have less trust for a person that they don’t see online. “What are they hiding from?” is likely the first thing that comes to their minds.
Everything about the way that employees handle their employment and how employers need to handle employees has changed. Why? Because an employee today that doesn’t like what you say or what you do can send out 10,000 resumes from the comfort of their couch while they’re watching television to find another place to work. 25 years ago you had to print resumes, get dressed and go visit places you wanted to work at to drop those resumes off and apply for a job. Today's employee has no fear of finding another job. They can go straight to Indeed or any other website and have the comfort of knowing that there are hundreds of jobs available for them tomorrow.
Last but not least, how society judges EVERYTHING has changed. Society judges people based more on their Instagram and Facebook photos than they do their real life. Is it right? HELL NO, but it’s real. People judge companies in a very similar way.
Ask any 25-year-old if they would be quicker to buy from a company with 25,000 followers on Instagram or a company that has 100. You’ll get the picture very quickly about how the younger generations are viewing the world. Remember, a world without Google and Social Media has never existed for them.
Here is the reality for contractors in today’s environment…for many contractors, the changing times are difficult for them to accept. Too many try to fight the trend instead of embracing it. There are essentially 3 unique groups of contractors with regard to this particular topic.
1. The group that refuses to even consider adapting to the change. “That Social Media stuff isn’t for me and it won’t make anybody any money anyway.” (Naysayers)
2. The group that is interested in the movement and will either watch from a distance or participate here and there to see what it’s like. “This is probably a trend that I might want to learn at some point, but not right now.” (Fence Sitters)
3. The group that embraces the movement and is using these platforms as a way to transform their businesses and reach more people than ever before. “This IS the future…and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make this part of my business. I will embrace the discomfort that comes with something new. I know the power it will have for my business.” (Game Changers...or as I like to call them...WINNERS!)
I promise you this, if you come back to this article in 5 years and you refused to adapt, you will read this and say, “I should have listened to that guy back in 2019. I would have been far more successful if I had.”
The bottom line is this…nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy. Discomfort builds both character and success. Embrace the change in the world around you. Be a contractor that adapts and moves our industry forward. Change your culture. Embrace change. Let that be your legacy.