Last night, at a business development event in southern Connecticut, I became involved in a conversation with the president of the local commercial realtors’ association. He was lamenting the economy, and the fact that there was a large vacancy rate in his commercial office buildings. “I’m thinking of converting some of my office buildings to other uses, such as art galleries,” he told me.
Then he asked me about my agency, Internet Presence LLC. Was I leasing office space? How many full-time employees had I hired? When I explained that many Internet-based businesses can be operated quite successfully from home offices, and that my team consisted of loyal freelance artists and writers, he said, “How can you ever expect our economy to improve if you refuse to lease office space and hire full-time employees?”.
I thought about his remarks for a while, and finally realized that his business – indeed, his livelihood – was predicated on a workforce mentality that the Internet and World Wide Web had forever changed. The economy, I thought to myself, can best be served by creative entrepreneurs and individuals developing services and skill sets centered around teaching conventional businesses how to thrive in the new marketplace.
Out with the old and in with the new?
Well, not entirely. The local commercial realtors’ association is alive and doing well, I’m certain. Countless businesses in scores of differing industries can not ever morph into an Internet-based business model. But the web has forever changed the way we work, leveling the playing field for thousands of small businesses, and creating opportunities for talented individuals throughout the world.
What do you think? I’d like to know.