Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomorrow's businesses

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     to help you better manage your small business. 

     Tomorrow's businesses will look very different from those of today. Technology and our changing culture will make big impacts on day-to-day business.

     Many businesses start up but don't make it past 5 years. Others have more staying power. The difference has to do with the attitudes of the owner. 

     A business is a living, breathing entity. It provides a product or service that others want and will pay for. It succeeds in direct proportion to the owner's agility--turning feedback from the marketplace into sales.

     Example: John was intrigued with solar power. Free energy from the sun captured his enthusiasm, and he installed solar panels on his roof. It supplied part of the power needs of his home and reduced his monthly bill for electricity. He wrestled with the problem of turning this into a business, and he hit on an idea. He would install a large array of solar panels on several acres of land adjacent to a suburb with hundreds of homes. He could create a power cooperative by signing up homeowners--some of whom already had solar panels on their homes. Many regulatory hoops had to be jumped through, but John was on his way to creating a business that fit tomorrow's needs.

     Example: Ella runs the machine shop she inherited from her father. Machines turned out parts to spec for all sorts of clients in aerospace, health care and automotive industries. Then technology created 3-D printing. Ella immediately saw threats and opportunities. She bought an early model 3-D printer and began experimenting. She is now at the leading edge of technological development, and many of her products are produced on 3-D machines. It's an industry in transition, but Ella is confident that her operation will survive and thrive. 

     Example: Tom has operated a bookstore for many years. Realizing that most readers today do their reading on electronic media, he faced a fundamental decision regarding the future of his operation. Tom loved books, so he restructured the store. In the future, he would offer first editions, rare books and maps, and other book-related memorabilia. To take advantage of today's technology, he offers online viewing of any book he offers. His many customers today are located all over the world, and a few still come to his bookstore. By concentrating on one niche market and specializing in it only, Tom re-invented his business. And by taking advantage of today's social media, he sells fewer books, but for a healthier bottom line.

     Social media has forever changed how businesses reach out and tap into new and bigger markets. And technology is still on the march, forever changing some industries. 

     Tomorrow's businesses will be quite different from those of today. Basically, you are still selling products and services. But the products and services change, and the point of sale changes. 

     Take a look at tomorrow. How will it affect what you do? Should you change? How will you change?  



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