It doesn’t get a whole lot better than this…
I have been in business since the early 80’s. Bought my first computer in 1981 and started accessing bulletin boards and Compuserve (online service prior to the WWW). I learned all the tech stuff when it came to the internet but prior to browsers and “homepages”. Words like USENET, BBS, Wildcat, Holonet. Since then we have seen a huge change in the opportunities presented to small business. And new ways of doing business and getting the word out.
For me it started with the computer and the ability to write with word processors. And then spreadsheet programs. A few years later we get access to the World Wide Web, online marketing, Social Networking, blogs, Twitter and on and on. Now the big buzzword and change in how we manage our lives and businesses is cloud computing. This is a topic that I will continue to write about in future posts.
But before I go further, I have to comment and say that in the past 25-30 years, I saw significant changes and every few years a major new technology appeared that changed how we do business. Changed how we start businesses. We saw costs come WAY DOWN, technology advances increase and markets expand. Now I could go on and on about the changes and such but I wanted to make a point about starting businesses….today. Its never been easier, cheaper and there has never been a better time than now. A horrible cliche but it is very true.
In the past year, my business has changed considerably. The tools I use to manage my business have got more complicated (and easier in some respects), new tools have appeared that have changed HOW I did business from the past 5-10 years. And all within a few months. For example, this morning I stumbled upon an article and book review in the newspaper. I pulled my Android smartphone out, took a picture of the cover of the book with Google Goggles app, and it identified the book, and presented a link to Amazon.com. I clicked on add to wishlist (it already recognized who I was and my various logins) and its now available for family, friends, clients to access or myself. In seconds.
Another case in point – I lived and died by my blackberry for the last 3 years. Great for email, messaging etc. But that was about it. I bought my HTC Desire Android phone as I was learning to create apps for it. As a daily / hourly user of Google products, I found in seconds that once I logged into my gmail, all my calendar functions, YouTube favorites, Google docs etc were available to me. I started downloading both free and paid apps for productivity. Amazing. And thats just the beginning.
This past week I sat down and analyzed how my business has changed in the past 12 months. In a variety of areas that I simply took for granted. Here are a few highlights that I will explain in future posts:
- My software purchases have dropped by over 200% over past years. In fact my business costs dramatically dropped and in some cases, software that was $1400 was now available for 1/20th the cost.
- I am able to buy and utilize apps for less than $5 each. Apps that I use daily to do specific tasks to stay on top. All syncronized with all my phones / computers.
- I communicate with professionals and clients (old and new) in methods I have never used before. And it generates results.
- I launch and sell products with 2-3 months development time versus years. In fact self publishing as a whole has changed just within the past month. More to come on that.
- I am able to run my business literally from anywhere in the world (taking advantage of the new trend in location independent living), This has been an ongoing trend. But what does it mean for you and me?
- Productivity has increased 10 fold. Maybe even 100 fold.
In the coming months I will be offering services and products unlike anything I offered a mere 2-3 years ago. And that is encouraging. We all agree we live in times of change. But this past few weeks have really awoken me to the fact being self-employed is a very realistic option that can provide untold opportunities for people everywhere.
In my next few posts, I plan to share some direction that I am going that could benefit others. Hope you enjoy the coming ideas.