Friday, 27 June 2014

The World of Work

As I watch my husband run his International consulting business while sitting on the couch beside our 7yr old there is no doubt that the world of work is changing. We often can and do work from anywhere and anytime for part of the time anyway. Don't get me wrong, he isn't sitting there all the time. In fact he hasn't been 'home' in five weeks because he has been based in his offices in the US, on business in Belfast and Dublin so although he's physically here, he is working.

While so much of what we do can be accomplished by technology, there is and I'm not sure will ever be a subtitute for facetime and relationships. My husband bases his business on building relationships, often not sure where if anywhere they will lead to but he knows every relationship and every meeting is valuable. A connection is made that may someday piece together a puzzle leading to business and value for both parties. He has spent years and thousands of hours meeting and networking to build this circle of relationships and he not only builds them but he sustains them.

David McWilliams discussed on his blog this week how technology will destroy the middle classes. In it he highlights how much of the function of so called 'experts' such as lawyers and accountants can now be replaced by technology that these are in a way dying careers.

However, I feel that in this changing world of work and noisy environment of communication that we live in we will start to drown out much of this automation and go back to the basics of relationships. If we are looking for help what is often the first route we turn to, its looking for a recommendation?

The key lesson in this for us as business owners or operators is to consider it vitally important to add value for your customers. What differentiates you from your competitors. Have your marketing done and know what it is your customers want. If you are a newly established business then you will have most likely done this but what if you have been in business for five years and sales are slowing down. Are you listening to your customers, do you know what the market place needs? When you know what your customers needs then you can not only offer the service but add that personal touch that makes your business special.