(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of March 25th)
What’s becoming apparent across the business landscape is many new entrepreneurs are building businesses for the purpose of not being beholden to any so-called boss. They see that the old model of a “job” is either dead or dying and rightly so are venturing out looking to take control of their own destiny. However what many are not realizing is they may be just changing one taskmaster for another without being aware.
In today’s world one of the unquestionable benefits we are currently enjoying is the plethora of tools that allow a business to start-up, augment, research, or just plain operate for absolutely free. It’s a time in history that has never been so rich with options and yet that list seems to be getting larger with even better tools, but there is a side that most pay no attention to. “What would happen to your business if tomorrow what was now free ended and you needed to now pay for it? Or worse, was no longer available.” Not some distance in the future but let’s say next week or month. What would you do?
There have been some recent cases where Apple® has arbitrarily pulled some very popular podcasts from their service for what they deemed “unauthorized” Apple logos or pictures. Even a picture of a real apple was questioned. Pleading your case and trying to get reinstated is an arduous process and still may not be enough to resume. These courts answer to themselves not to anyone else. Rightly or wrongly, “It is what it is.” But just how would you continue if you no longer had access to the service is my point? Would you continue? Could you? You need to think about these scenarios if you want to be a business. Just because you may not operate in the old world of bricks and mortar does not mean you can escape a fundamental principle of business.
People scoffed at similar notions when I expressed and wrote about what businesses in the brick and mortar realm should contemplate when Greece first showed signs of unrest, months before anyone even heard of the Occupy movement or the mayhem that followed. (So much so I re-posted it when OWS troubles first appeared.) Businesses suddenly found themselves closed, unreachable, or worse. So I ask you to contemplate the most fundamental business principle.
What’s your plan to stay in business? Because anything can happen, and usually does!
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr