Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016: Is Your Business Paradigm Outdated?

I had the opportunity to attend a small business expo recently. As I walked around the booths, I couldn't help to feel that some of the hopeful businesses were modeled after old paradigms that just aren't true anymore. The internet, social media, environmental issues, documentaries, and a push towards minimalism have helped pave the way for more conscious living. What I saw were entrepreneurs clinging to old business and products ideas.

Multi-Level Marketing Companies

Multi-level marketing companies sell anything from makeup, essential oils, to kitchen wares. I can't remember the last time I went to one of those hosting parties, but if I did it was probably close to 20 years ago. I come across these vendors at farmers markets. If there is still a venue for them, that would be it.  The money maker though was in getting other people to sign up as sales reps  (another aging paradigm) to produce greater earnings. Why go through all the trouble to be a rep to get discounts when you have Google, Amazon, and competing large beauty and kitchen supply chains at comparable prices offering a wider selection of products? Ever stop to consider who still shops from a catalog? I stopped once they started tacking on the shipping cost to my bill long ago and haven't looked back. The Penny Hoarder goes much more into detail about these types of direct-sales-companies.


Out of Date Products

The best way to tell if your product is outdated is to ask yourself a few simple questions:

* Does my product or service promote the well-being of human-kind, the environment, and/or animal life?

* Is its life-cycle environmentally conscious and responsible?

* Is it necessary?

Those are stringent guides to build a business on a solid foundation of truth.  I saw several frustrated small business owners whose products weren't in alignment with the reality of the world we know today. They were marketing products built on a lie or a need that doesn't even exist. When we didn't have the means to empower ourselves, we could say we didn't know better. Now, there's just no excuse.