The Cost of Not Evolving: A Wake-Up Call for Small Businesses | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

In today’s sophisticated and fast-paced digital landscape, the adage “evolve or perish” holds more truth than ever, particularly for small businesses. Failing to keep up with basic technological and online marketing knowledge creates stress, unnecessary tangible and intangible costs, and very likely a negative impact on the success and longevity of your venture.

I challenge you to read to the end of this blog post, but just in case you decide to tap out soon, I’m going to virtually shout my takeaway message in big, bold print here:

IF YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO THRIVE IN THE CURRENT DIGITAL LANDSCAPE, YOU MUST COMMIT TO EITHER PROFESSIONAL EVOLUTION OR THE ACQUISITION OF AN APPROPRIATELY SKILLED TEAM MEMBER.

I love my clients, but…

Since starting my business in 2013, my client base has been 100% solopreneurs, most in the health/wellness, coaching and education industries. With little exception, they are lacking in basic tech and online marketing knowledge and most are not interested in evolving. Does this sound familiar?

If so, I totally get it. There is a finite number of hours in the day and you want to do what you are passionate about. But, unless you want to risk stagnating or failing, you really must address this issue.

Not evolving creates angst, frustration and stress. In the early years of my business, when the online world was not so overwhelming, my clients used to lavish me with praise and gratitude for presenting them in a polished and professional light (one of the reasons I loved working with them). Over the past few years, I’ve seen an uptick in venting…especially right after I send out my invoices.

This is becoming more and more challenging for me, especially when I see them refusing to evolve and continuing to make poor choices in the interest of saving money. When I offer them solutions that will benefit their business (and their stress levels) in the long run, they are in such a stuck place that they usually ignore or shoot them down. And, so the stress continues.

Here are 8 consequences of not evolving:

Not evolving on the tech and online marketing fronts will create consequences for small business owners. Let’s take a look at the potential impact on your business of falling behind in this respect:

1. Lack of professionalism

When you and your team members don’t know how to properly use your business platforms, such as WordPress or the IHUBApp, email marketing platform, social media platforms, etc., you are very likely blasting out unpolished and unbranded content to your existing and potential clients.

When emails are sent, social media posts are published, or blog posts are written and they are messy, inconsistent, incomplete, or unreadable on mobile devices, your professional reputation is impacted, often in ways you are not even aware of.

Like it or not, this is an era where professionalism is equated with a cohesive brand and polished digital image, so failing to evolve can cost you credibility and trust.

2. Total reliance on outside help

If you are not, or can not, invest your time in learning at least the basics of the online aspect of your business, you are placing yourself in a position of totally relying on someone else to help you.

I actually don’t believe reliance on one or more team members is a bad thing as it allows you to focus on what you do best. It only becomes a problem when you resist paying the going rate for the qualified ones. If you are going to abdicate your online presence to someone else, they need to be great at what they do and you need to understand that you get what you pay for and experienced professionals deserve to be fairly compensated for their professional skills (just like you!). (See #6 for more on this important topic.)

Something else that’s important to note here is that having a team does not mean you should totally disengage. You still need to have enough of a foundational understanding of how your platforms and systems work so you can gauge the success or breakdowns of the system and your team members and be engaged in coming up with pivots and solutions. So, this isn’t an excuse for not evolving!


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3. Inadequate understanding of online costs

A lack of awareness about the full spectrum of current costs involved in maintaining your business’ online presence can be detrimental. From hosting and email marketing fees to software subscriptions and cybersecurity measures, failing to understand these expenses can lead to financial surprises that strain your budget.

It’s equally detrimental to not understand which items should be prioritized and where it’s acceptable and unacceptable to cut costs. This, of course, all depends upon your specific business.

These days I suggest to most of my clients that they strongly consider the IHUBApp PWA because they provide an overall cost savings. However, if you don’t have a solid understanding of tangible and intangible costs, you might make the uneducated decision not to go this route because all you are focusing on is the monthly license fee. (Visit the Cost Analysis tab on my PWA Design to see a line-by-line cost comparison between a traditional website and the IHUBApp.)

4. Missed marketing opportunities

Being aware of current technology opens new avenues for marketing. PWAs, social media platforms, content marketing, and current search engine optimization (SEO) best practices are crucial for visibility these days. Neglecting these channels means missing out on cost-effective marketing opportunities that could drive business growth.

5. Inefficient operations

The best new technology makes life easier and more efficient by streamlining processes, but you need to invest a little time up front to learn the platforms in order to experience their benefits. Not embracing new tools and software that can automate repetitive tasks or enhance productivity, and not being willing to update the way you’ve always done things, will ultimately affect your bottom line (and your stress level!).

6. Hiring challenges

As technology and online marketing evolves, the need for skilled and qualified team members becomes paramount. Hiring cheaper entry-level employees who lack adequate tech and marketing skills might seem cost-effective initially, but it can lead to frustration, wasted time, increased training costs, and many missed opportunities for new business or growth.

Skilled professionals are a priceless investment in the long-term success and growth of your business. If you’re looking to save money, don’t cut corners on your team!

7. Security risks

Failing to adopt the latest security measures exposes you and your business to potential cyber threats. The cost of recovering from a data breach, both financially and in terms of reputation, can be significantly higher than implementing preventive security measures.

Are you using the same passwords on multiple websites? Are you using a password manager? Is your website fully locked down and being properly maintained? If not, you are playing a virtual game of Russian Roulette and will eventually lose MUCH more than the couple of hours or VA invoice it takes to set up proper systems.


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8. Customer disconnect

Most of today’s customers expect businesses to offer seamless online experiences. An outdated or glitchy website or PWA, unpolished content, and confusion about processes all cause a disconnect with your audience, leading to lost subscribers, missed opportunities, and a decrease in loyalty.

And, if you’re looking to attract clients who grew up with technology, undrestand that they are likely to dismiss any business that they sense isn’t up to digital speed. The majority of the younger set wants a business that is savvy online and stays up on current trends.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Please do NOT shoot the messenger! These are undeniable facts that I implore you to accept, then begin to proactively address. I took the time to write this post to help you…and to let you know I am here for you.

If your attention spanned to the end of this post, I hope you now have a deeper understanding of the costs of not evolving or hiring someone who lacks the experience to navigate today’s digital terrain—and that these costs extend beyond monetary considerations. They encompasses the overall health and sustainability of your business in a tech-driven world that demands a polished online presence.

Embracing change and hiring qualified team members are essential steps toward ensuring your business not only survives but thrives in the digital age.

Of course, it’s your prerogative to ignore, dismiss or reject all that I have said regarding the importance of evolving for the sake of your business. I just ask that, if you do so, make sure that you also adjust your expectations and accept the natural consequences of this choice. If you are not going to be and hire outstanding, it’s unlikely your business will be outstanding!

After a decade in business, I’m finding it necessary to implement a strict screening process—I am no longer interested in working with business owners who have zero interest in evolving or don’t understand the importance of investing in a skilled support person. This is part of my own professional evolution to ensure that my business thrives.

About the author : Janet Doré

Janet Doré is the founder and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Scribaceous, Inc., a boutique design company specializing in branding & graphic design, IHubApp PWAs, WordPress websites, and optimized blog content. She is also the proud creator of the Hub Mama program where she trains and mentors those looking to grow their own freelance Hubmaster business.