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Would You Have Your 14 Year old Son Perform Open Heart Surgery

In the same way as it is a fact of life, it is also a fact of business:

In theory anyone can do anything…wash your car, cook your dinner, build your house or stock your shelves, do your book keeping, write your contracts…

So why doesn’t everybody do what they want?

Let’s forget about laws and qualifications. They have been put in place basically for protection. Some people do not have or use common sense, while other people try to stop people using their common sense, usually for some form of gain.

So why do you not let your 14 year old son perform open heart surgery on you…
Hand holding scalpel
Or indeed, why do you not do it yourself? Well…because although theoretically you could do it, it is unlikely that you will have the skills or tools to do it on time. Therefore the likely outcome is that it would fail and you would probably not exist for much longer.

So why do many businesses allow their “14 year old son” (read this as somebody with limited skills, experience or tools) to design, build and maintain their website and web presence? These can in many cases be the heart of the business and supply its life blood – improved management, reduced costs and increased sales.

It is down to knowledge and its use. People have been aware of the importance of the heart to the human body for thousands of years, but it is only in the last century that the majority of people in many societies have become aware that in some cases they can care for their heart themselves and in other cases they should use experts, and that these experts are available to them.

There are many who “choose” not to control their diet, exercise, social habits etc, and do not have regular checks and take advice on such things such as blood pressure and cholesterol. However there are many who do and have a happier, healthier and, often, longer existence.

Now the web has not been around for so long, and it is really only over the last one to two decades that the majority of people in business have become aware of its existence and importance. Additionally it is only in the last few years that the tools available have effectively become available to all. Now in the same way that you do not have to be a King, Queen, President or multi-millionaire to have a healthy heart and life; you do not have to be a multi-billion global corporation to have an effective web presence and successful business.

Using that familiar cliché; it is not rocket science (although what it can achieve may be close to this), it is a matter of “common sense”, taking advice and using experts when necessary.

In the same way a person knows their personal environment, lifestyle and can recognise changes such as getting more tired when walking upstairs, excess swearing, which may mean speaking to an expert. Somebody with a business should know the business – what it does and who for – the environment the business exists in and changes such as decreases in revenue, losing clients or suppliers…

A “14 year old son” would rarely be the expert for someone with concerns about their heart, and they could not give advice required even if it is simple self maintenance such as change in diet. This is because their expertise on the heart and precise knowledge of the patient and ability to diagnose would be limited.

In the same way their expertise on the web as a whole (many 14 year olds experience in some areas of the web is immeasurable); knowledge of the business and business environment are also limited. Therefore their advice, design, development and maintenance ability will be restricted.

Another cliché – slightly skewed – Know what your heart can do for you and what you can do for your heart… Know what the web can do for your business and what you can do for your web. By asking:

  • Who are we
  • Why are we in business
  • Who do we want to work with
  • What products/services do we offer
  • How can the web help?

The business is making a good start, by recognising the (probable) importance the web can have. They can then decide who, if anyone, to speak to for advice.