Considering all that is changing, how business is changing, how global and yet how locally our businesses must be, does your business line up with that future? Is your business social, or is it traditional? Does your business advertise on the Internet as part of its marketing mix, or do you stick with traditional modes of advertising. There are many questions to ponder when starting a new venture, but the main questions is, what kind of business, what structure, what type, and will it meet the needs of the economy.
The new economy is a connection economy, how does your business connect consumers, how do you connect to other businesses. Just using social networks is not connecting, depending on how you use them, most use them as another channel to yell, flood, to do what you’ve always done. You use them with a traditional mindset, it’s not connecting, it’s telling.
The traditional way, meant you had to have ads in the yellow pages, maybe you ran radio commercials, and you mostly used Newspaper. You never had to consider the Internet as part of your mix, and most still don’t have a clear understanding of how it works, and how to you use it for business. Today you have to think about where to best spend your time & money, adding the Internet as another way of enticing consumers to your business, to buy. But consumers act differently online, or do they?
More than ever , there is much to consider, it’s not black & white as it was back 30 years ago. The Internet is 25 years old, and brings with it challenges, and incredible opportunity. Asking yourself if you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus is the new normal today, knowing what to do on them, and how to leverage them, is not normal, not like Radio, TV, and Newspaper. But you’re already figuring that out aren’t you.
Business is getting much more complicated, it’s causing you to rethink what kind of business. Traditional or The Connected. And what does a connected business model look like, it’s the Open & Free Business Model. And that you can learn here on owengreaves.com.
I’ve shared with you in the past about ten people that get my attention everyday, but there are three authors that reach the very core of what I believe, I have to put them on your radar screen. I’ll assume you like to read, if you’re online, you have no choice. It’s been said, leaders are readers, but readers are not necessarily leaders.
I was recently asked who my favorite author is, I couldn’t answer with just one. I have many, but three tend to be at the top of the list.
These gentlemen have helped shape and affirm what I believe to be true in the world of business, more importantly, they are real people, with real issues, no different than you and I. The big difference, they Create. Differentiate. Deliver. all the time, they have a message for you, and I think we should pay attention.
All three of these authors, along with many others, have taught me in one way or another, to shape, to encourage, and they inspired The Open & Free Business Model, which I teach and preach here on this blog, and to anyone who is even a little bit curious about the 90 / 10 rule, it is the future of business.
The Internet is a huge world, and yet it can feel like a small town, because we are all connected. This connection, or connecting, is the new economy, it is what makes the world go round. It is the connectedness where you will be found, where you will find your place eventually, because someone also believes what you believe, and they will connect with you to become a true fan.
I challenge you to read anyone of these three authors everyday, if you do, your world will change, and it will never stop changing, especially if you put into practice the lessons learned from these brilliant minds.
If you want to get my best tips and foresight, subscribe to my future of business updates in the right side bar.
The Future Of Business – The Consumers New Found Power. It’s been said forever, the customer is always right. So why doesn’t business believe it, why don’t they practice it? Greed? Probably. I as a consumer, more than anything want accurate information, pure uninterrupted support, ease of access, and above all, the freedom to make a decision without being coerced, or sold.
It’s also been said, that a customers experience with a brand (product or service) is what determines the life span of a business. If it’s good, you get another day. If it’s bad, your days are numbered, it’s really that simple. It’s called Word Of Mouth, people talk, and now they talk to millions at the stroke of the keyboard.
The future of business is like the threat of an avalanche, a business can be wiped out as quickly, and it can grow equally as fast. Why? Word Of Mouth. The Consumer has new found power, many will abuse it, that’s human nature, but many will tell the truth. It’s the truth that’s the problem, it’s harder to deal with, it’s harder to make corrections when the truth is revealed. Those who abuse this new found power will be found out, and then will have to deal with the truth, it goes both ways doesn’t it.
Gerd Leonhard has said it, I have said, and many others have quoted it, we will have to learn how to trust the people formerly known as the consumer. Why? Because they have the new found power. Whether you believe it or not, that’s the truth in a nut shell, they can and will determine the future of your business. They don’t need to qualify, they don’t need permission, they only need an opinion. You and I have absolutely no control on how they will share that opinion. As a business owner, we have the opportunity to ensure it’s a positive opinion, there in lies the rub. We have to work hard for that positive opinion, and most of us don’t want to. We want to do just enough to reach our objectives, then get out before we have to work too hard.
I can only offer this, in order to build a legacy, to build a business that makes the world a better place, you have to plan and work hard to ensure that happens. If it’s just about making money, you’re looking at the wrong metric. Money is merely a means to an end, but the legacy, the world, it wants more from you than just handing over money. The new found power of consumers wants more, and will demand it, it will force you to be accountable, you will comply or pay the price of ignoring the new found power consumers have today. Their opinion matters, and you need to pay attention to it.
And that’s why telling the truth, honesty, sound products and services that deliver, and your integrity matter, it is the foundation that will help you build a legacy, a strong successful business. It sounds corny, and it sounds like hard work, that’s because it is. If it was easy, well you know the answer to that one.
The future of business will be built on this new found power of the consumer, they will determine whether you service or product is any good, they will determine if your recommendations actually solve their problems. Plan, work hard, and deliver. That’s how you will get on the good side of the consumers new found power.
The title may mess you up a little, but just keep reading and you’ll find the nuggets, if you get what I’m talking about.
A little over a month ago I spoke at a large conference, I was pretty bold, I told people that I hated FaceBook, and that I will offend someone before I’m finished. I did. I also shared that we are hypocritical, for example, I told business owners to give something away for free to those who repeatedly came back to your business, blog, website, anything that you would come into contact with a customer. People actually gasped, I can’t do that one person said. So I asked them, If you won’t give something away, someone else will, but why is it that you won’t give anything away, but yet you are the first one in line when someone else does? Is that you?
Why is it that we build a business, we do everything and anything to get it to a profitable state, we suddenly go into management mode. We actually stop doing what got us profitable, or maybe even successful. We took risk after risk, we didn’t care what anyone said, we didn’t care what anyone thought, we just stepped out and made things happen. We weren’t playing it safe, we were putting ourselves out there, willing to take the hits, the no’s and even the snickers. So what happened?
Giving something away is not a high risk act, in fact, it should be a well thought out strategy. And why wouldn’t you reward those who got you to where you are, they bought you product or service, they even invested time in reading your blog, they probably attended a talk you gave, but yet you still remain closed to the idea.
I’ll bet most of risk something higher in value while building you business, why is it then, once you enter management mode you are reluctant to risk anything? Again I ask you, is this you? If so, maybe it’s time to take a breather and spend some time doing something you may not have done in a very long time.
THANK YOUR COMMUNITY!
Thank them by giving them credit, write about them, brag about them, and maybe even give them something for free. That smacks of the Open & Free Business Model doesn’t it? Without your community you have nothing. In fact, if you fail to do this, you are playing it safe. Don’t do business in a safe manner, always challenge yourself to step close to the edge, learn to trust your community, afterall, they came to trust you first.
The Future Of Business Is Not Playing It Safe, keeping doing the things that made you profitable, and most of all, thank your community.
This topic has been beaten to death, but news sites just don’t get it. Without naming which news site I’m referring to, well all of them actually, a paywall is just another nail in the coffin. I’m not saying these news site’s should earn revenue, what should do is, pull their heads out of their butts! The older generations who don’t have the patience to look for the news will pay now, but for how long, that has yet to be determined. We are now at a place on the Internet where you can’t really hide anything, it will be accessed. Why, because everything will generate a stream everywhere. Content will surface eventually, it’s like having a leak in your roof, you can see the water, but you can’t find the source, where it’s coming from.
Mainstream news sites are now asking social networks to shutdown accounts connected to news sources because it is in violation of trademark laws, not sure how, but I’m not a lawyer. If that’s true, we are in for a world of hurt in other situations similar to this case. The world is getting more and more uncomfortable with an open economy, the push back is amazing. Like it or not, an open & free economy will happen, corps / big business need to find a way to participate without trying to control the economy. The challenge is, they don’t know how, or maybe they do and it scares them.
There is the argument that journalists are the trusted reporters, anyone who is not credentialed as such can’t be trusted or does not have the means to verify facts in the same way they can. Most facts can be verified, the truth is, most facts can be found and verified, no one has locked the market on confirming stories.
Paywalls aren’t going to disappear, they will however become somewhat hidden, seamless, and hopefully, invisible. The problem isn’t really the paywall, the problem is how value is measured by the people formerly known as consumers. If value is found in the content, someone will pay for it, if not, they keep moving. It’s not about mechanics, what’s changed is how we value.
The news sites and or newspapers that force payment they will in the long run lose out. We now live in a world where everything is moving to free, or an access first model, and then maybe, people will pay. The commerce model is reversing, things that can’t be copied are the only real value, because they are scarce.
The other reality these news sites and or all news mediums have to come to grips with, they are too slow to break the news now, Twitter is the channel of choice for most when it comes to sharing major events and stories. The problem for these corps is, they can’t staff enough people to be everywhere all the time 24/7.
The Industrial Age of control is dead, wall street and major corporations are running around with their heads cut off trying to stop you and I from doing what we want to do. Net Neutrality, metered bandwidth and paywalls are all they know and all they know how to do, it’s about control and grabbing as much money as they can.
The Future of Business is the opposite of what they know, executives refuse to deal with the paradigm shift of an open & free business model. Having said that, I know some great people they should hire to help them maintain revenue levels they are used to, but they won’t, they don’t trust anyone.
The rest of the world hasn’t even come online yet, and when they do, they will push the paywalls down.
Will you pay for news you can get for free?