Category Archives: oldpreneurs

Teenagers teaching Silver Surfers the web way

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1204276Once again my local paper has its finger on the pulse of social and business change. Although, once again their headline writer hasn’t exactly hit the jackpot – ‘Youngsters take Infernal Trouble out of IT for mature students.’

According to the Middy ‘For many people IT stands only for Infernal Trouble and The Web is somewhere unsuspecting technophobes get trapped.’

I would be more inclined to say that for many older people, Windows are something they prefer to open in order to let in fresh air, and the Web is something they get tangled up in all to easily.

The article is actually about a group of teenagers at Oakmeeds Community College in Burgess Hill, who run a weekly class for that growing population over Silver Surfers (The growing grey market in the UK). Interestingly the club is funded by the local Business Enterprise, so it will be interesting to see how many of these mature students are aspiring Grey Entrepreneurs.

I love the way this story goes against the usual media stereotyping of teenagers as rude and lazy, by showing them in such a positive light, using their skills and knowledge by empowering older generations to take advantage of this revolutionary technology.

It’s not all one way traffic either. According to 15 year old Lloyd Passingham, ‘I really enjoy helping at the club. It feels really good to know that something I’ve learnt, I’m passing on to someone else’.

Top 10 things that can kill your business from PRIME

Monster illustration © Creative Commons by Graft Flo

PRIME (The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise) has produced a neat little handout covering the Top 10 things that can kill your business.

I was surprised that ‘Not watching the cash position’, had been demoted to number two, as this is usually considered to be the main reason for business failure. Instead they have ‘Failure to sell’ at number one.

1. Failure to sell New businesses should concentrate on winning their critical early customers before anything else. If you are uncomfortable with selling, try another approach. Selling doesn’t have to be the traditional hard sell, but it does need to be done. Even if you are busy now, set time aside for thinking about where your next customers are going to come from.
Feel bad about selling?
Basics of selling explained
Free club course on marketing (audio podcast and workbook)
Understanding customer needs

The electronic version of the document has added value with these links to explore the topic in more detail.

The remaining topics are:
3. Failure to chase for payment
4. Underpricing
5. Failure to do a reality check on your basic business idea
6. Ignoring seasonality
7. Forgetting about the competition
8. Ignoring legalities
9. Getting involved with scams and con artists
10. Getting trapped in long-term arrangements

logo of the UK charity PRIME

PRIME helps people over the age of fifty set up in business for themselves. PRIME was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in response to letters he was receiving from people desperate to work but unable to find anyone to employ them – because of their age.