By Georgia Kirke with special guest Guy Remond
One of the most important lessons businesses have learnt from lockdown is that they need to build a personal brand and digital presence if they want to survive beyond the next five years.
Irrespective of the size of the business, the industry or the aspirations of the entrepreneur an online presence helps to attract and deepen their relationships with prospective and existing customers (paid advertising only offers a short term shortcut to sales).
While personal branding is my area of expertise, tech entrepreneur and non-exec Guy Remond also has some amazing insights to share when it comes to optimising your business performance in the digital space.
He explained that a digital presence has already proven to be crucial to his businesses for three main reason:
- It will generate sales
- It will make your business more attractive to prospective employees.
- You put yourself in a prime position if one of your goals is (over time) to be acquired by a bigger company.
Guy has formed a business partnership, Guidr, with US lawyer and entrepreneur Dave Zumpano. Together they’ve created a service whereby people can save time, money and effort by accessing the legal documents they need online while having the offer of additional bespoke support from their local law firm.
Guy explained that there has been resistance to the new way of delivering services.
Guy: “We recognise that the legal world is behind most of the sectors in terms of adopting technology; there’s been a real pushback to embracing it but there is an increasing realisation that if they don’t get on board with digitisation they are going to be left behind. The entrepreneurial lawyers, and the business leaders are recognising that this is happening.
There are many startups out there now building legal platforms which bypass lawyers [Guidr includes the services of the law firms] because some of it involves simple data entry, and document generation but our platform actually enables lawyers to digitise these services.”
A mindset shift
From what Guy shared it’s obvious that when an industry is accustomed to working in a specific way making a shift can be a challenge, but the advantages outweigh the uncertainty.
Guy: “The entrepreneurial firms that see this as an opportunity and embrace digitisation are the ones that will gain. It takes a real mindset shift for a very old fashioned industry but it’s inevitable. And that’s translated across all sectors of technology affects everybody. If you are not tech lead, in the next five to 10 years, you won’t be around. It’s as simple as that. If you’re a tech product company, you’ve got to be even further ahead than that, because the competition is rife.”
It’s clear that embracing digitisation is essential, not optional, but considering the pace at which technology changes I wanted to know exactly how proactive businesses needed to be. Should they wait for a tech entrepreneur to provide a digitised platform that best suits their industry?
The answer is no.
Guy: “People have to take their destiny in their own hands. If you’re a genuine entrepreneur you should be looking ahead at what’s coming around the corner. Even if you are not technically minded, get involved in forward thinking communities. I’m a member of Abundance 360 [mastermind and executive programme] where we have conversations at a high level. Forewarned is forearmed.
When you do this you can begin to think about how you might include that digital technology in your business ahead of the big corporations that tend to be slow to adopt to new technology because they’re risk averse. They’re slow to move like oil tankers (that need a mile to stop!). Whereas if you’re an entrepreneur in a younger, more agile business, you can absolutely take advantage of new digital opportunities.”
Guy also shared that he expects to see even more change in the next decade than we have experienced in the last 50 to 100 years. The rate of change is accelerating, not diminishing.
Guy: “All companies need to have a finger on the pulse of the changes that may be happening in their space; they need to try and get ahead of it. It’s that kind of information that will allow you to stay ahead of the game and give you a competitive edge over your customers. It’s really important to join entrepreneurial forward thinking communities; read the blogs, listen to the podcasts, watch the webinars, and be part of that conversation because your business depends on it.”
Guy has given us a very clear message. Digitisation is here to stay, and without it, your business may not be. Thankfully you have the power in your hands to take action and Guy shared some great ways to do that (join a community, podcasts, blogs, webinars).
What’s the digital future for your business? How will this impact your business plan for 2022? You might have more questions than answers but either way pop into our Facebook group afterwards and tag Guy Remond, or me Georgia Kirke with your questions.
If you’re committed to building a strong personal brand, growing your business, and deepening relationships with your customers in 2022 have you thought about writing a book and nurturing your blog and podcast community? Schedule a personal brand and content strategy session with us if you’d like to drive your business forward.