Through the looking glass: Digital guidance for business owners over 60

Aug 27, 2022
This expert provides game-changing business advice for navigating the digital world with your business. Source: Getty

Digital transformation can sometimes make us feel like we’re going through the looking glass: we’re nodding along, and then suddenly we take one wrong click and things are suddenly turned upside down and we end up spending a lot more time than planned navigating our way through the process on an app or website. 

Over-60s make up a large chunk of Australia’s business community, with close to one-fifth (19%) of small business owners being over 60 years of age, being star players in the business world by bringing business savvy, life experience, and deep subject matter expertise to their chosen industries. 

So if you’re a business owner who’s keen to navigate the digital world without confusion, and to avoid costly time-wasting wrong turns, here is some easy-to-follow, practical guidance on how to become more digitally savvy and get up to speed with our tech-driven world.


Keep cyber safety top of mind

Many small business owners unwittingly find their personal and business lives intertwined online. If you have a Facebook business page, for example, there’s a high chance that you access that page via your personal Facebook login. That’s why it’s critical to ensure every single social media, email, and software account has the tightest login protections in place – whether it’s your personal or business account. 

Ensure any Facebook Business Page has at least two trusted Page Admins so that someone is always able to access the page should a hack occur. Use complex passwords and change them regularly. You can even use encrypted password management software such as LastPass or 1Password so that your passwords are kept safe and easily retrievable. 

Where possible, implement multi-factor authentication (MFA), adding an extra layer of security by using two or more pieces of evidence to log in to a single location. Some common examples of MFA include login authorisation via an SMS message, phone call, or an authenticator app to verify a browser login.

And never, I repeat, never, leave your passwords sitting around on Post-it notes or in the front of your notebook, and never re-use the same passwords for different websites and apps.


Learn to outsource without passing the buck

It’s okay not to be focused on posting endlessly on your business’s social media if you’re simply not interested in that task. However, that doesn’t mean your business doesn’t need social media full stop. 

It simply means that you need to learn to outsource strategically, rather than passing the task on to the first person who will take it off your hands. Think of yourself as the conductor of your own digital orchestra, with your web developer, social media manager, and SEO agency as the strings, wind, and percussion.  

In order to outsource well, you still need to have a strong understanding of what these activities are and why you’re investing in these digital activities in the first place. Take some time to understand how your customer base uses social media, what they’re searching for on Google, and how your business meets their needs. 

Once you’ve got those answers in mind, you’ll be much better placed to find the right resource for the job and to work collaboratively to develop a strategy. Look for contractors focused on outcomes over outputs, and never let yourself be blindsided by jargon and technical gibberish. A good contractor will explain their role in plain, simple language – and if they can’t, there’s a good chance they don’t fully understand it themselves. 


Measure your results and relate them to business outcomes

Even if you outsource or give the responsibility for digital to someone else, you still need to be the person accountable for the overall digital strategy. In order to do that, you need to understand what you’re trying to achieve and how to measure its success.

Being able to measure marketing and sales is a benefit of digital and a hallmark of modern marketing. Understanding the metrics available to you through your digital platforms will empower you to monitor your return on investment (ROI) will keep your business competitive and help you make decisions, which are informed by data and not just your gut. Your gut feeling is still highly valuable and so is your customers’ voice, but data can be used to validate your thinking.

Google Analytics is a great place to start, providing a detailed breakdown of where your website users are coming from, how long they’re spending on your site, and how many of them are making a purchase. It’s also a great way to see which marketing efforts are working, and which aren’t. 

For example, if you launch a social media competition and notice that you’re receiving thousands of new inbound links each day from Facebook, this gives you a great indication that you should keep utilising this form of social media marketing. You might also find out that your link-building strategy is working and you’re receiving inbound links from industry partners’ blogs, which will confirm the value in content partnerships for your business.


In today’s hyper-digital world, getting your business online is non-negotiable. Improving your digital strategy is the key to boosting your overall marketing efforts, increasing sales and strengthening your business’s bottom line and sustainability.

The good news is, once you’ve stepped through the looking glass, you’ll be surprised by how much your confidence with digital will grow and the new opportunities that are open for your business development.


Liz Ward is the Co-Founder and CEO of Navii, an independent organisation helping small businesses navigate the digital world. 

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up