The future of business – small & mobile, in every sense of the words. many of the big box stores have been shutting down locations, why, too expensive. Even the food industry sees the future, the mobile kiosk style restaurant merely parks on the street and serves up gourmet meals as if you were sitting in a high end restaurant. This trend is not going away, in fact, it’s a huge phenomenon.
Many resist the notion that big box stores are going away, but look at the trends, the Internet, technology, and the business that is small is the new big….you don’t need big boxes, or big anything. Small means many things, but most of all, if your business is small, it can change quickly, adopt and improvise without skipping a beat. Being small also means you are probably mobile, I don’t mean mobile in technology, I mean, you can move to another location and go where the people are at a moments notice. Being mobile technically is the other side of mobile. Technology helps put your business on billions of mobile devices with very little effort.
We used to laugh at the kiosks setup in these big boxes called malls, who’s laughing now? There is almost no overhead with a kiosk, no maintenance to really speak of, it’s like having short hair, low maintenance, wash it and go.
Today we work from virtually anywhere, no pun intended, but mobile is everything these days. Having a bricks & mortar business almost seems like you are breaking the law, why would you build a business like that? I know, I’m getting ahead of our time, but there are some serious realities to building a business the old industrial way. technology won’t tolerate it. You see technology waits for no one. We think we control it, but we don’t, our brains are not wired to control something that big, and with the exponential power & growth it overwhelms us with.
WHAT TO DO
So what do we do? This is the simple question that is more complicated than it’s simplicity. Did that even make sense to you? In my last post I wrote about being a carpenter, as if carpentry was just invented today, what would you build, what do you see that the world needs. The same holds true here, if you were a carpenter, you would probably build a small social, human, mobile business. Not a huge massive big box store with far too many staff, it just doesn’t make sense, does it?
I’m not bashing those who have gone before us a built these big box stores, I’m merely pointing out that those coming after us, the under 20 generation….they aren’t interested. They’re egos are not wired that way, they want less, they are minimalists, they want fast, cheap, NOW! And that’s what they will build, legacy is not as important to them as it is anyone over 30. I’m generalizing of course, but if you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that’s what I do. There are always exceptions, but those numbers are much smaller.
So is your business small & mobile? Can you move quickly, is your business easily accessible via mobile devices, and is small? Small as in a low number of staff, low overhead, but large return on investments, that means profitable.
If you are thinking of starting a business today, think small & mobile.
If I were a carpenter, what would I build? I think of carpenter’s a builder’s, in fact, I think of entrepreneur’s the same way. Business owner’s used to be builder’s, but something happened, they were lulled into management mode. Carpenter’s are also builder’s from the industrial age, the art of carpentry is a dieing art, well at least the way we think of it. But that’s the point, how we think.
I have said many times, over and over again, it’s the tag on this blog, Mindset trumps skillset everytime. How we think about building, how we think about our business, how we think about everything really, it’s all changing and we are not. I was sharing with Chris Brogan on Kitchen Table Talks last week about how the this area has yet to embrace a new way of doing business. The new way? Becoming a social business, a human business. What are we so afraid of?
If I were a carpenter, I would build a business that opens your mind, that shares this new concept, this new open & free business model….wait….I have built it, but is it done? There’s another problem, we think in terms of being finished, social businesses, human businesses are never done. Do you think your relationships with people and businesses are ever finished, no. So why do we think, just because we are building a business, it will be finished someday? If you think you are finished, you will be. Think about that for a moment, let it settle for a moment.
You see, my business, I hope it is never done, I hope it draws you in, I hope it causes you to question the status quo….always. My prayer is that you will want to learn new ways of adopting the new way of doing business, if you don’t, someone else will, and your business will be finished.
There are some incredible people out here on the Internet sharing, (far too many too mention here) all the time, teaching you to see business differently, you want to but….you seem to fall back to what you’ve always done. It happens everytime you get into management mode, new ways are too hard to implement and maintain in your head, so you do what you’ve always done. Push back as hard as you try, time gets you everytime.
Imagine if you, just for a moment, what if being a carpenter was just invented today, what would you build? You build something that no longer works, or would you invent something new?
I challenge you, ask yourself the question based as if being a carpenter was invented today. If you were a carpenter, what would you build? A traditional business? probably, but I would suggest a different model. I would build a very open and free business model, a social business, a human business. What say you?
- Future Scratches (chrisbrogan.com)
- Owen Greaves On Kitchen Table Talks With Chris Brogan (owengreaves.com)
- Do you have a people strategy? (sethgodin.typepad.com)