Business Innovations Level the Playing Field

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gerrtgrtIt was only about a decade ago that working from home was something which was seen by the vast majority of the working population as so unattainable. In many circles, it was even viewed as unsavory. Now, it is frequently viewed as a career goal. Fortunately, it has become much easier to create a thriving business from one’s home with the help of technological innovations such that make the day-to-day operations of a business easier to manage from home.

Logistics and Infrastructure

One part of running a business that made it so difficult to accomplish from home was the logistical difficulty of creating a robust business infrastructure that could reliably handle the demands of a growing business. Specifically, phone systems and mailing information could be problematic for entrepreneurs and home-based businesses.

Prior to the invention and mass availability of VoIP systems, most smaller businesses had to resort to using their home phone number or cell phone. While this certainly does offer a reliable way to communicate with potential clients, it doesn’t offer the same sense of professional establishment, security, or convenience of larger phone systems. With a VoIP phone system, it is possible to set up an automated response system that answer common questions, directs people to different departments, and provides digital voicemail boxes that can often transcribe messages. While not all of these features may be immediately needed, it makes it easier and less expensive to scale the business later and instantly lends a sense of established professionalism when calls are received.

Mailing addresses have also been problematic in the past. Placing one’s home address on invoices or as the point of contact for an email list can feel like a risky security move. Entrepreneurs and small business owners would often circumvent this challenge by renting a post office box in their hometown. However, many of these types of business people have very travel oriented lifestyles and retrieving mail could be problematic. Again, technological upgrades have made the process easier. Companies such as iPostal1 PO Box services offer complete digital mailbox packages that make it easy for small business owners to have their mail sent to a secure location and items they need forwarded or scanned and sent directly to them.

Technology Clouds

Another thing that has changed substantially in the last ten years is technology. Can you believe it was only about ten years ago that the first iPhone was introduced to consumers? That was also the introduction of cloud based applications and subscription business models.

It is no longer necessary for business owners to have access to massive servers or even pricey software to run their business effectively. Instead, they are able to pay lower monthly fees to gain access to powerful software and applications or to store and manage their information in the cloud. This means that even an entrepreneur with a very limited budget can gain access to some of the expensive tools and completely level the playing field with large corporate competitors.

New Economic Environment

Of course, none of this would be possible without the massive success of the internet in general. Internet use continues to increase at a rapid rate throughout the world. Even the country with the greatest percentage of adoption, the United States, still has room for growth. This is fantastic news for small business owners and entrepreneurs because it means they will have even greater access to their target demographics going forward. Since 2000, growth around the world has increased by 936 percent and still only represents half of the total world population. The reality is, the newest and most powerful economic environment is online but even that environment is constantly changing.

The newest trends are for people to access the internet with their smartphones rather than a computer. This makes it easier to increase adoption rates of internet technology and should expand the field even more rapidly over the next five years. However, it also means small businesses and entrepreneurs will have to be vigilant to new mobile technology to ensure their businesses remain relevant and accessible in this mobile economic environment.

Business innovations have the ability to create a level playing field for small businesses so they are able to compete more effectively for a portion of the market share. To do so they will need to be constantly aware of new innovations and remain adaptive.

Published by Kidal Delonix (659 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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