Cottage Industry in the Information Age.

Posted on Posted in Mobile apps

The industrial revolution shifted manual labor from the cottage where people lived and worked to factories operated by large enterprises. A resurgence in the cottage industry is occurring. Yet, while manufacturing remains in large factories, another wave of change is occurring. This time it is an Information Revolution that is different, yet, as significant as the Industrial Revolution.

Albeit, the information age would not have been possible without the Internet, broadband communications, smart phones and related software, some social factors are of equal importance. The general population has so embraced information technology that in a few decades the Internet and mobile communications have become “must have” items in our daily lives. Large corporations are no longer a refuge for a steady job. Occupations are continually eliminated and others introduced – in a large part because of technology. The work force is compelled to change, to move from place to place and remain working longer in life. Hence, a renaissance in the Cottage Industry and corresponding opportunities in job creation and economic development.

Some favorite type of cottage industry businesses follow:

  • Creative Arts
  • Data Services
  • eCommerce
  • Information Technology
  • Social Connectivity
  • Research
  • Listing Services
  • Publishing
  • Event Planning
  • Travel
  • Professional Services
  • Trades Services
  • Tutoring
  • Personal Care
  • Home Care
  • Writing
  • Consulting
  • Culinary Arts

Unlike the Industrial Revolution that relied on capital infusion, large work spaces, and manual labor, the Information Revolution requires minimal capital and smaller spaces. This has opened opportunities for many with limited access to  capital,  young people, working parents, displaced workers and those wishing greater control over their destiny.

One does not need to be an entrepreneur with hopes of having a mega millions business. Yet, to succeed in a one must take some fundamental steps required by all businesses.

Please see some do’s and don’ts :

Do’s Dont’s
Know your trade. Enter a business that is already familiar to you. Don’t start a business in a fieldA you know little about. A startup business is not a place for on the job training.
Brainstorm by yourself and with others. Seek out external input. Don’t stay to long in this comfort zone – take action. Avoid analysis paralysis.
Stay informed about your market area, your competition and your industry. Do research, read and participate with trade associations and social media concerning your business area.. Don’t avoid the input from experts, successful and unsuccessful people. Learn from mistakes.
Craft a business model that defines how you keep some of the money your earn. Don’t start until you know your business model makes sense.
Craft a business plan. This is your road map. Work your plan and plan your work. Don’t fly blind. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know when you got there.
Define business processes that can be repeated time and time again. A process is the way you do things. A business runs by doing things like sales, billing,  inventory, payroll, accounting and updating a website. Don’t be vague. A vague process will yield vague results.
Have the tools and resources ready to deliver your goods and services. Don’t forget Murphy’s law; “If something could go wrong, it will”
Be the first responder. More sales are lost because for the lack of a response. Don’t be to busy to respond to promptly prospect or customer.
Under promise and over deliver. Don’t commit to what you can’t deliver.
Make customer support an integral part of your business. Don’t make customer support a after thought.
Make sure you can sustain a period with no income. Opportunities never end but money runs out. Don’t avoid financial realities.


Your Place in Cyber Space.

Businesses could not survive in the Information Age without expanding presence in cyber space. The illustrations that follow display the three main cyber space components along with a path toward greater presence by an individual business.