Some elements of business have stayed the same over the last 10 years. For example, a business always needs new customers. It always needs a product or service to offer new customers. It always needs to do some sort of marketing.

However, the way that a business goes about getting new customers, how it does its marketing, and how it promotes its product or service has changed a great deal. Much of this has to do with the proliferation of digital media and the Internet. But that’s not all. The type of workers on the market, as well as the type of business environment that people work in, have all changed.

Here are three significant ways that business has changed over the last 10 years. Knowing how to deal with these changes can mean the difference between your business succeeding or not in the coming years.

Social Media Has Changed Communication

An article on the Entrepreneur website suggests that the proliferation of social media has forced people to communicate differently. Or better said, it has forced people to develop different communication skills.

A company can have its message. However, if that company doesn’t meet its potential customers where they’re at, then the message doesn’t matter. Nowadays, a company boss might need to convey the same message via Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube because that’s where the company’s audience is.

That said, the message needs to be tailored to fit the specific communication outlet in order to be effective. The outlet and the message both need to be considered when a company releases new information, interacts with clients, or solves a public relations problem.

The Internet and Virtual Offices

It used to be that being in business meant you had a place of employment for you and your employees. That place of employment was provided by you and included, but was not limited to you buying the desks, paying for the phones, and having someone take care of your business’s accounting.

The Internet made everything virtual. People work at home. They communicate to their teams via Google Hangout, Skype, and other communication technologies. They use software to do what humans used to, whether it’s accounts payable software or marketing apps.

This provides business owners with a lot of freedom. It also means they must learn how to work remotely, which requires its own set of skills.

Additionally, the Internet has changed the way a business acquires new leads. Once upon a time, a telemarketer would call a potential prospect and get said potential prospect to do business with that company.

Anymore, a business can acquire new customers if they have good SEO skills, a Groupon coupon, and/ or a social media posting. Unlike the telemarketer, many of these customer-acquisition methods operate 24/7, ensuring that a business always has a number of people vying for its goods and services.

The Labor Force is Different

Although much attention has been paid to Millennial workers, the real story is the abundance of workers who are aged 55 and older, according to The Motley Fool.

The number of workers in this category has increased from just over 17% to just over 22% in the last 10 years. This could actually help the 55-and-over worker. Some employers have embraced this trend and are hiring the older worker, which in turn causes some workers to delay retirement or at least, continue to work part-time.

This trend may even solve some of the issues faced by a talent shortage in certain industries. It may also provide businesses with part-time employees during the business’s busy season, while allowing it to cut down on staff once the rush is over. For the 55-and-over employee in this situation, it can mean extra income during his/ her retirement years, without the responsibility of a full-time job.

Last Thoughts

The Internet, remote teams, and changes in the labor force have changed the way people do business nowadays. If you’re trying to keep up with the demands of the 21st-century workforce, knowing what these trends are will help your business in a number of ways.

You’ll be able to hire the most qualified workers for your peak business seasons. You’ll save money on overhead costs. And you’ll learn to communicate better. All of these are plusses that will benefit your business in the long run.

 

by: Mark Palmer