Sunday, January 20, 2013

Will your Business Survive?

Will my business survive? This is a question that we all need to keep asking ourselves. Don't take the survival of your business for granted. In these times discontinuous changes can wipe out whole business sectors very quickly. I will use an illustration from the 1870's to illustrate this, and to show that this is not a new problem for business owners.

If you had asked a blacksmith in 1870 whether his business would survive, he would have answered, "Of couse it will, blacksmiths have been in business for centuries immemorial". Yet with the advent of the automobile the business of the blacksmith was smitten. An honorable trade that had been in existence for a very long time, faced extinction. The number of blacksmiths today is a very small percentage of the numbers in 1870.

I grew up in a pre-computer world and when I was first at college we did our advanced programming using punch cards. In the last 40 years we have had the advent of the personal computer, the iPod, iPhone and now iPad along with the Internet followed by the world wide web and social networking. My children do not understand a world without Google, Netflix and iTunes.

But the world of the web, and web business is in constant evolution. Don't have an "1870 blacksmith" attitude but keep your eyes open for trends that may affect your business and be prepared to change quickly.


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