Businesses and the external environment

In today’s modern world with so much technology available small businesses for the first time in history are able to compete with bigger companies and in some instances on a level playing field.  Having the ability to showcase your company online often gives the impression that a company may be bigger than they are because the cost of creating a high quality website is fairly low.  I have seen websites of small businesses that look just as impressive as websites of fortune 500 companies, sometimes even better.  The one thing that separates the big players from the small players however is adaptation, big companies stay in business because they evolve over time.  IBM started out manufacturing type writers, if that was the only thing they ever produced they would have closed their doors years ago, because let’s face it there is not a big demand for typewriters these days.

It is imperative for a business regardless of size to have the ability to adapt to its external environment which it has no control over such as technology and the economy. We are currently living in a time when technologies are quickly changing the world around us from how we do our banking to how we read our favorite novel and in order for a business to not only be successful but to stay successful it has to have the ability to evolve as the environment around it changes.

As I discussed in a previous article (Small Businesses and their websites or lack of one) and as hard as it is to believe, many small businesses do not have a website, many of these are small local businesses such as diners, independent fast food restaurants, hair stylists, computer repair shops, etc.  As I stated in this article every business should not only have a web presence but needs a web presence and this was discussed in the interview recently with author Dave Chaffey (The Small Business and Digital Marketing – Interview with Best Selling Author Dave Chaffey July 6, 2010).  The business world is evolving to where having a web presence is now defined by much more than just having a website; Google SEO spiders that rank your website looks for evidence of social media, blogs, RSS and more.  But it’s not just about search engine rankings, it’s about having a presence that your customers and potential customers can see, it’s about visibility and connecting with the public whether that public is national, international, or just the local neighborhood.  People today are constantly on the go, and they are accessing information while they are on the go, they are doing this with smart phones, using mobile web, updating their status on facebook, using LinkedIn to discuss business with a vendor all while on the go, at work, at the gym, in a restaurant, in the car waiting for the light to change.

People are accessing information, wherever, whenever and however they can and new ways of communicating are being developed every day.  Just a few short years ago email was the number one way to communicate online and you had to do it while sitting in front of your PC, now they have instant messaging like Skype or blackberry messenger, there are applications for most social media platforms encouraging people to utilize these from their phones.  So as a business, even a small business, it is vital to keep up with the changing environment around you because if you don’t you are sure to be left in the dust by the competition.

Businesses must adapt to the ever changing external environment in which they exist, don’t get left behind…