Aug 102012

A question that still bugs me from the Cloud + NBN forum this week is “why would a plumber want a broadband connection.”

It doesn’t seem so long ago that question was asked about mobile phones – in the early 1990s the question made sense as cellphones in those days were heavy bulky things that sat in cars. They were of little use to plumbers or anyone else except the executives and politicians who could afford them.

Today there are few plumbers who don’t have a mobile phone.

Why would plumbers want a broadband connection? Job scheduling, inventory management, stock ordering, quoting and invoicing are five tasks that spring to mind.

One of the big areas for all business is research and training. Keeping up with industry changes, particularly in fields where professional development is required to maintain your license or accreditation, is made far easier with online learning services.

For the plumber, being able to find out what’s new on the market and how to install or maintain the latest products keeps them in the marketplace.

Then there’s the necessity of being listed online – without a broadband connection the local plumber will struggle to keep up to date with the sites customers are using to find tradesmen.

Even asking the question “why should a plumber be online?” betrays just how many of us aren’t understanding how business is changing.

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