THE technology race may not require as much training as an Olympic sprint, but the goals are the same, according to IT expert Brad Howarth.
“You want to get to the line as quickly as possible and be in front of the others,” Mr Howarth said.
“Once geography protected local businesses. That isn’t the case now, the internet doesn’t discriminate.
“The tools available to businesses in Warrnambool and the south-west now have the same tools available to them as businesses scattered across the world.”
Mr Howarth was speaking in Warrnambool as part of the Tech Trends series, part of the Victorian Small Business Festival and one of 29 business events held this month in the city council’s program.
Mr Howarth is a freelance journalist and a leading expert on new technologies. His work features regularly in The Australian newspaper and Fairfax Media publications. He has also written two books on the tech boom.
It was vital for businesses in the region to adapt their business models to embrace the swift-moving technology boom, he said.
“There are 2.7 billion people using the internet,” Mr Howarth said.
“That’s 2.7 billion possible customers, or 2.7 billion potential competitors.
“If you’re not getting up to speed now, you run the risk of being leapfrogged.”
He said regularly updating websites, having active Facebook and Twitter accounts and ensuring a business website was optimised for use on smart phones were small things owners could do to remain at the forefront.
“Sixty-five per cent of adults are smart phone users, so having a website that is optimised for Android or iPhone is essential,” he said.
“Also ensuring that your web page is on the first page of search engine results.
“It’s like drinking from a fire hydrant, but a small amount of input is better than none at all.”