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4 Biggest Changes in Business So Far

From the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century to the economic boom of the 90s, there have been not one but several business changes in the US. With the fluctuating economy and new inventions—like the Model T Ford in the early 1900s and Tesla in the new millennium, these types of changes have affected not just the way we look at business but how we do it. That said, read on to learn what some of the biggest changes in business are and how they have shaped the business world in the US. (Plus find out why you need to do an Idaho secretary of state business search.)

1. Corrupt Business Domino Effect

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, business in the US seemed to have suddenly tanked in the early 2000s, going from good to bad, with scandal after scandal. As The Wall Street Journal goes on to state, such scandals included Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Anderson, plus many others. And then we had Bernie Madoff and the recession soon to follow after. It seemed as if one corrupt business move followed another.

How Did This Shape the US Business World?

In a sense, we seemed to have gone back to President Taft’s days where business corruption ran amuck. When the business scandals, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and the recession broke out, being in business wasn’t seen as great as it once was, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Business was now associated with sliminess and corruption. However, it seems as if Americans are in high spirits today; according to Pew Research, roughly 60% view corporations favorably. What this goes to show is that like the economy, people’s views about business are always changing.

2. One Word: Email

Believe it or not, business (and life in general) existed without email, where correspondence was done through good old fashion letter writing. Eventually, this started to change in 1971 when Computer Engineer, Ray Tomlinson, sent the first email to himself. A year later, according to The Guardian, Larry Roberts, Arpanet employee (like Tomlinson), created the respond, forward, select, and list functions. Fast forward to the new millennium, and it would seem that everyone has an email. To be exact, there is roughly 3.7 billion email users around the globe.

How Did This Shape the US Business World?

As mentioned, this invention didn’t just change the national business world; it affected everyone on an international level. To put this in perspective, according to LifeWire, 86% of professionals rank email as the top communication method. Your average employee has about 121 emails in his or her inbox per day and sends out roughly 40. Conversely, according to the Daily Mail, your average American household only receives one personal letter about every seven weeks or so. What these stats show is that email has easily replaced letter writing as the main form of communication—both professionally and personally. However, interestingly enough, because writing a letter is so rare nowadays and takes more time than sending an email, sending a personal letter to a client has become more power and valuable; doing this can help strengthen client relationships.

3. Technological Advances Are Making Us More Remote

As Entrepreneur states, business used to be run from a desk and computer…at an office. Nowadays, thanks to the advancements of the Internet, multiple apps and other paid services, more and more business owners—and even employees—work from their home. To be more exact, The New York Times states that as much as 43% of American reported spending at least some time working from home, which is a four-point percentage difference from five years ago (2012).

How Did This Shape the US Business World?

Instead of needing to interact with people in person, the Internet and services, like Skype, that run on it, allow us to communicate no matter where we are. Although it may seem like this would decrease business travel, (ironically?) the number of business trips taken in a year has gone up. As of 2012, Americans took 439.2 million domestic business trips. This figure has risen by a whopping 27 percentage points five years later (466.2 million domestic business trips per year). And, there are predictions that this stat will increase to as much as 478.2 domestic business trips in 2020. When factoring in international business travel, it’s safe to say that despite increased globalization and the advancement of technology, business traveling doesn’t seem to be going away from the business world.

4. The Freelance Economy is Expanding

Two decades ago if you mentioned freelancing, most people probably wouldn’t take you seriously. Now, more and more Americans are leaving the corporate world and starting out on their own as freelancers. According to Inc., roughly 53 million Americans are freelancers. And this percentage is expected to grow to 50% in 2020.

How Did (or Does) This Shape the US Business World?

You can expect more companies to hire freelancers, as they would be saving on benefits, worker’s compensation, etc. While this does cut down on costs, as Inc. goes on to state, companies may need to start asking themselves what they can do to retain freelance talent; instead of offering your standard company incentives—like catered lunch—companies may need to be adamant about paying on time consistently.

Final Thoughts

Much has changed over the past century, let alone the last few decades (i.e. email, Internet, and apps) that have affected the way we do business. While many of the technological changes—such as email—have sped up communication and helps get business done quicker, it also has given way to the 24/7-hour work week. Still, overall, scandals and the recession aside, most of the recent business changes seem to be positive. What will business look like in a decade, 5 decades, or ten? Leave a comment.

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