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Developing Business in a 21st Century World... What we're working on

posted Jun 5, 2010, 6:30 PM by Art Johnson   [ updated Jun 5, 2010, 9:31 PM ]
What's been on our mind recently is what can be done to help business owners and managers "Develop Business in a 21st Century World". The challenge and the opportunity is in figuring out how the boss himself or herself can be helped, especially where the line between personally helping the owner or manager and helping the business he or she runs or manages is most often non-existent. It's specially tough for the folks running their own businesses who have no bosses themselves.

They have to plan the business, create the structure, finance the business, build the support infrastructure, go after the business, deliver the product/service mix, serve the customer well, as well as get paid and the work doesn't stop here. On top of all this, today's business owner or manager is challenged to address an economy, a society, a culture, a technology marketplace, and the environment itself that are all undergoing phenomenal change. How can a small business owner make the right strategic choices and succeed?

The good news however that as challenging as this 21st century world is, it is also filled with "net new" opportunities: new communications and learning tools and strategies that if intelligently and strategically leveraged can really help today's small business owner or manager and their respective businesses grow and flourish. Of particularly interest to is a new Social Web 2.0 Internet environment which already for some has proven to be a "game changer" particularly with respect to how important information can  now be found and learned about and how strategically important business decisions can now be informed and made.  

What's new is all the new social media and social networking that is now possible that can potentially connect supply with demand without the intrusive advertising of traditional mass media and without all the unsolicited SPAM and phone calls of only a few years ago.  Even newer are front-running early adopters, authors, and consulting firms ... and new ways to communicate and learn about social networking that help small business owners and their companies grow and flourish. 
What's radically new about Social Web 2.0, and where we as a small businesses ourselves fit in, is that we ourselves via collaboration and networking can actually create our own and more trustworthy content based on very own experience actually working with various product/service offerings.... instead of allowing ourselves to be hyped by older-think, mass media television ads.  

A good example of this is the contrast I recently experienced between viewing mass media ads on television plugging the power of 4G mobile networking and all the things it can do here in the Pacific Northwest,  and then reading an excellent post on a Web 2.0 social networking networking site, based on another small business owner and consultant actually testing the new "solution" out using the latest 4G phone over the supposedly faster, higher-performance 4G network. The author did an excellent job and saved me a whole lot of time, money, and most importantly...frustration. 

What I learned is that while the technology promised much, the kind of network speed and performance that I needed for my business application - e.g. video conferencing and smooth video streaming...  was not here yet. This information was instrumental in helping inform business strategy, both for my own company as well as for a client depending upon me for timely and reliable technical advice on a new project we are about to start. 

Experiencing this and other advantages of the new Social Web now has me thinking about ways that I can "walk the walk myself" using social media and social networking to make a difference not only in my own small business as a small business owner but also making a difference with other small businesses, adding value and serving them well.  Now its got me publishing myself.  Look out world, here comes a whole lot of great content focused on Developing Business in a 21st century world... and on delivering the mission-critical world a new world needs. Leveraging power of the Social Web and Web 2.0 is a great way to do that. 

I welcome any and all comments.