In The Graduate, a cult classic movie made in 1967, the naïve graduate, Benjamin Braddock, goes to a party where he is taken aside by Mr. McGuire, his father’s business partner.
“I want to say one word to you,” says Mr. McGuire. “Just one word.”
After dragging Ben out of the living room to the edge of the backyard pool, he drops his words of wisdom: “Plastics.”
“Exactly, how do you mean?” asks Benjamin, bewildered by the significance of this big tip-off for a prosperous future.
“There's a great future in plastics,” says Mr. McGuire.” Think about it. Will you think about it?”
Today, the word would be “Internet.”
Why the Internet is the new big tip?
In the past, prosperity was a result of finding the right business. Today’s it’s about finding the best medium. The Internet is that medium.
The Internet is the most powerful medium on earth, and that is what Mr. McGuire would be sharing as his pearl of wisdom.
Today, in places like Fort Wayne, Indiana, you can even find a fiber-optic provider, where Frontier Fios availability allows one to get dedicated download speeds.
The Internet grew to 1 billion from 1969 to 2005, a 36-year interval. However, it grew to 2.7 billion users from 2005 to 2017, only a 7-year period.
Today, in 2016, it is still growing at an exponential rate. It reached two billion in 2010 and three billion in 2014.
The Internet for Business
As a tool for business, any kind of viable business, the Internet provides unparalleled advantages.
Here are 3 advantages that would never have been envisaged in the last century.
1. The Internet works for any business
The Internet is not just for virtual businesses selling digital information, but can be used by any business to attract customers. It can work for coffee shops or dry cleaners, plumber or electricians, corporations and the self-employed. You can even use it for selling plastic ware through drop-shipping.
Essentially, all you have to do is create a website and then use places like Google or Facebook to advertise it. If you want to do more, you can build a blog and share your latest blog posts about your business on social media. And, if you want to raise the bar even higher, you can schedule podcasts, webinars, and regularly post videos on YouTube.
2. Build an efficient, profitable business.
There is a wide range of software you can use to run your business much more efficiently from your desktop. You can even dispense with the idea of using your own computer network with a server and just run your entire business on the cloud, renting the best software through Software as a Service (SaaS) providers.
It’s actually easier to get more customers online than offline. This is because advertising is cheaper and people can visit your website with just a few clicks. Traditionally, brick-and-mortar businesses would use print, radio, or TV advertising and hope customers would drive to their locations. Today, getting a customer is just a click away from a Google Pay Per Click advertising.
And, of course, you are open for business around the clock around the world. You don’t need to have staff present to wait on customers. Almost everything is automated.
3. Reduce business expenses
Even if you continue to run a brick-and-mortar business and just have an online presence, there are plenty of ways to reduce your business expenses.
Instead of hiring experts, you can do many things yourself like accounting and inventory control using software. Even if you do need expertise, like financial management or human resources, you can outsource this to firms online.
One of the biggest expenses for a business is labor costs, but with the Internet, you only need a small staff to run your business, and many freelancers around the world can help you with their expertise in improving your bottom line.
Your communication needs can also be slashed in many ways:
- Using VoIP, you can save on your telephone bill.
- Using email, you can save on traditional postal costs.
- Using webinars, you can save on the cost of hiring a hotel room and giving presentations.
- Using social networking sites and forums you can save on the time, effort, and expenses it takes to network to build your business.
A Home Business
The Internet makes it easy to make a smooth transition from the corporation to the home office.
Computing technology is a key driver in this exponential evolutionary shift in civilization where it is possible to earn a full-time living without having to show up in an office.
The Internet is that perfect medium that allows for ubiquitous connectivity. Even if you are already using the Internet for your home business, be alert for more ways to increase your productivity. This can be through the use of faster connectivity or the use of even more flexible applications. And, as mentioned earlier, you can even run your business on the cloud.