The business landscape is changing as rapidly as technology. 

“Since 1993 and the invention of the internet customers have been empowered,” says Jim Basingame, a small business expert.  “It has shifted the paradigm in favor of the customer.”

For hundreds of years in the past, the business model has been that the seller had control of the product, and control of the information about the product.  The customer controlled the buying decision.  Today’s consumers control the information, and have probably googled and researched a product before making an effort to buy it.

“You’ve got to make sure that when you are making yourself available online that you’re putting your best foot forward.  Because if you’re not doing a good job with your mobile presence, your online presence, then you’re not keeping up with customers.  Customers have those expectations.  They expect to be able to inform themselves, and if you’re not part of that, if you can’t deliver on those expectations, then you’ll be ruled out.

Basingame calls it the Age of the Customer, and says within the next 10 years businesses that don’t completely accept the new business model will be put out of business.