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Connecting small business to the world: The internets role in entrepreneurship Day 2, Schaefer Construction

Walton, KY (May 2, 2023) – On the first day of Small Business Week, Connected Nation had the pleasure of speaking with Broc Litherland, a savvy young entrepreneur who works in a very product-driven market. Many of his company’s daily activities are black and white — buy the product, advertise the product, sell the product, and record the sale for finances and inventory. As the owner of a men’s clothing store, it is very clear why it is crucial for Broc to be digitally literate and connected to the internet.

However, would a longtime veteran of the construction business who works with his hands every day need to bother with technology? The answer may surprise you.

The construction industry is primarily made up of men and women who prefer to be on the jobsite over sitting at a desk buried in paperwork. Jay Schaefer, founder of Schaefer Construction, is definitely one of them. He has been in the construction business for over 30 years, building his own company from the ground up since 2000.

Schaefer Construction’s business is based on referrals, so Jay doesn’t need to advertise on social media, run point-of-sale software, or even bother with an online marketplace. However, like companies in many other industries, his construction business requires technology for its operations behind the scenes. Payroll, taxes, invoices, and quotes are all integral functions of Schaefer Construction on a weekly basis.

Ultimately, being more familiar with computers and the internet allows those in blue collar jobs to spend less time dealing with office work and more time on the jobsite. Schaefer Construction employs Intuit QuickBooks, an accounting software package geared toward small and medium-sized businesses that offer on-premises accounting applications that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and provides payroll functions.

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When Jay was asked, “How reliant is your company on the internet?” he replied, “Back in the day, we had to hand compute invoices, payroll, taxes, and then address these and send them out by mail. Since then, we have learned QuickBooks, which has allowed us to plug our information into the computer and finish those tasks in a fraction of the time that we used to.”

Less time crunching numbers, more time building houses.

From the outside looking in, it is clear how important digital literacy is to business owners of all industries. For all the headaches that the age of the internet has brought with it, there are twice as many new features that have made our personal and work lives easier.

Jay was asked for any advice he may have for anyone starting or struggling with their business. He said, “I think I would invest in a program like QuickBooks or a support system. When I started, I knew nothing, so I do recommend finding a service to handle billing and payroll at least. I would also seek out people in the industry for chats and knowledge.”

For anyone reading this who may have been unaware of some of the software or internet functions that we have discussed so far, that is what Connected Nation’s Small Business Week is about. Our mission is to empower small businesses from all corners of the United States in the name of digital literacy. Being comfortable using a computer, B2B software, and the internet strengthens businesses, the local economy, and the entire ecosystem of small business in our nation.

We have now covered two ends of the small business spectrum — a men’s clothing store in rural Indiana and a construction company in suburban Cincinnati.

Join us for the remainder of the week as we continue to collaborate with small businesses in the name of digital literacy. Tomorrow, we will feature Jump Air Zone, a trampoline park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and share how the owners have used digital marketing to advance their company’s success.

Past National Small Business Week blogs:

  • Day 1, American Mercantile

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    About the Author: Grant Ahlbrand is a Marketing and Communications Intern at Connected Nation. He is a senior at Western Kentucky University, where he is majoring in social media marketing.