Friday, August 22, 2008

Ecommerce And The Blue-Collar Peasants?

by: Scott Lindsay

In medieval times the common laborer was thought to be less able to understand certain elements of civilized society. These men and women were not allowed to learn to read nor could they attend houses of worship because they were considered incapable of understanding what they heard.

Yes time after time these peasants were the basis for stories of renown and wonder. It is said that a peasant who listened to a sermon outside a church gathered bits and pieces of the Christmas story to write a carol that is still sung today.

Even in recent memory there has been a prevailing thought that only certain individuals are capable of developing a business. This is usually linked to the social standing of the individual or to the accumulated wealth of his or her family.

In business success has typically been tied to who you are, who knows you and how deep your pockets are. If you didn’t have the ‘name’, if you weren’t recognized and you didn’t have much money then your business would likely fail.

Ecommerce views every business owner as equal. There is no distinction and no preconceived ideas about the background or abilities of the business owner.

The link for all good online businesses is the ability to develop trust. If you are conscientious about providing exceptional customer service and superior products you may likely discover an improved customer base no matter what your personal background is like.

A blue-collar worker with a big idea has every reason to believe they can succeed online. A hard working rancher can develop an idea from their land of wide-open spaces and it may succeed. A single mom struggling to make ends meet might just come up with an idea that contains all the elements for a hit.

Rules that have always seemed as if they are designed for the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ no longer seem valid in an online business environment. The role of cyberspace is to equalize the impact of business ideas.

How does it do that?

In an online world you are going after customers on a global scale. You are no longer judged on your past failures or successes you are simply judged on your ability to deliver and provide quality products or services - now. If you can do that most customers would not even think to inquire about your lineage or stock portfolio.

An online environment can be one of the least discriminating places on earth. Your online presence is what speaks most to your product offerings and ability to fulfill your promises.

So, in a barn in Utah, a kitchen in Harlem or a neighborhood garage in New Jersey there are likely online businesses that are being developed to improve the quality of life for families that have struggled long enough.

Perhaps the most interesting irony in this is that some of the customers who frequent these ‘great idea’ sites may be white-collar workers who are less interested in the dynamics of the online business and more interested in receiving what they need.

Isn’t that what we all want in the businesses we trust?

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