TECHNOLOGY MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

Behind the face of the new entrepreneur is the driving force of technology that tells you that you can work in new and different ways than perhaps any entrepreneur who came before you. Thanks to technological advancements, the globe is shrinking and access to people you might have never met or done business with before is growing. This new technology has created an international landscape where your suppliers do not have to be within commuting distance. Now it is not uncommon to ship products halfway around the world. China has become the leader in manufacturing and, with the advances in technology, it is simply a matter of interfacing online to conduct business, move commerce, or order supplies.

The same can be said for how technology opens up a new world for entrepreneurs to tap into talent, funding, networking, and clientele. Whether it is through online directories, online advertising, or online social networking, technology has linked people together to share ideas, collaborate on projects, share resources, and start businesses. People who might otherwise never have met or crossed paths in the business world just a few decades ago are now finding each other and working together in new and exciting ways. Technology has opened up such roles as outsourcing, freelancing, contract workers, and telecommuting.

Having these opportunities means that companies are learning to work differently in terms of how they spend money and acquire talent. And among those to pioneer such concepts and roles are today's entrepreneurs, who recognized early on what they could do with technology. Technology has also changed an entrepreneur's ability to locate key personnel within an organization. For example, with social media, it is easier than ever to find the correct department or the head of shipping to facilitate business ventures. This channel has also helped to connect entrepreneurs to investors and mentors to help guide their business ideas to fruition.

However, despite the increasingly virtual nature of the world and the opportunity to create new relationships, today's entrepreneurs often still appreciate the traditional ways in which business has always been handled. That's why we can't stress enough how important it is to build business relationships. After more than forty years as entrepreneurs, we've found this principle is as true today as it was four decades ago. The only thing that might have changed is the way these relationships exist. Today's entrepreneurs can forge ahead by building long-term relationships without a physical meeting for months or years; others may never have a face-to-face meeting despite years of working together.

Yet these entrepreneurs have a lot to learn when it comes to understanding the personal touch points necessary to certain business relationships. Building face-to-face personal relationships with business associates is important. There will always be a need to feel people out on a human level to garner support for a business. Although, as long-standing entrepreneurs, we cannot be sure how practical having this one-on-one contact will be as time goes by, we still feel strongly that personal relationships are necessary for entrepreneurs to cultivate.

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