Elance Blog

Your Business & Technology: New Opportunities Are Waiting

What impact has online work had on your ability to earn income from wherever you are? Nicole Washington, owner of Micro Biz Coach, offers her thoughts on how technology is revolutionizing the way people from all reaches of the globe have economic opportunities that didn't exist even a few years ago.

Some decades ago, many citizens of the United States of America enjoyed a robust economic time when, with some basic training but no formal education, one could have a job that paid enough of a wage to live what many called “The American Dream.” Today, that privilege can be enjoyed by many more citizens of the world as a direct result of internet technology.

Just as the Industrial Age gave way to the creation of the factories that afforded the working class new opportunities to provide for themselves and their families, we are in the midst of the Information Age, which if properly harnessed, can provide the same opportunity.

Let’s take a look back through the sands of time. Though it seems like it’s been around forever, the internet was only a commercial innovation of the 1990s, although the internet of today is quite different! Yet counting its number of registered users, Facebook took less than 7 years to become the size of the 3rd largest country in the world!

In the world of computing, there is a concept called Moore’s Law which tells us that the capacity for things like computer memory and speed will double every 2 years. (Now you know why you have to upgrade your computers so often!) Although some believe this trend will be ending soon, it has held true for the past few decades and will likely continue for at least the next 5 years. As computer technology continues to develop, we must continue to improve our knowledge of it and if possible, better utilize it to our advantage.

Remember when it used to cost thousands of dollars for a company to build a website? Well, in those days that company usually had access to the lower level programming languages that the average person didn’t know. And that’s what it took to create a website – back then. Now the technology has evolved to a point where if you understand how to use Microsoft Word, you may very well be able to create a professional website using a content management system like Joomla! or WordPress. While there are new things we may still need the big companies to specialize in, the sheer number of beautiful WordPress blogs show us the power everyday people have when using these new web-based technologies!

In the wake of escalating unemployment levels over the past few years , these changes in technology, in particular, internet technology, have not only made it easier for an individual to have a business, it is also easier for an individual to do business. Leading platforms like Elance and LinkedIn have made it easier for business to connect with individuals, small businesses, or large business that can provide the services or products they need. Elance for example, can put a company in contact with a global workforce with the exact skillset the company is looking for. These skillsets are not limited to web development, but include others like content creation, graphic design and database programming to name a few. This creates new employment opportunities for the contractors that are hired to do the work, but it also gives entrepreneurs more incentive to start their own businesses—knowing that there is a ready and qualified workforce to choose from.

So there you have it! Using this internet-based technology, people from all parts across the globe can find enough online work in order to fully support themselves financially, from both the contractor and client sides. In fact, some leading economists say, the next generation of millionaires will be a direct result of the opportunities provided by internet technology. So whether you see yourself as a small business owner or a freelance contractor, you should make sure you are taking advantage of this unique time in our history. A computer and an internet connection have become the new tools of business both nationally and globally. If you are not taking advantage of this unique opportunity, tell us what you feel you need to get started. New economic opportunities are waiting!

About the Author
Nicole Washington, M.S., owner of Micro Biz Coach®, LLC, has a wealth of experience from her previous career with Ernst & Young, Whittman Hart and MarchFirst consulting firms. As a management consultant, she worked with several Fortune 500 clients including Sprint and Nationwide Insurance. Micro Biz Coach’s clients have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News, TheStreet.com and a host of Clear Channel radio stations. In addition to her highly sought after eBook, Best Kept Secrets of Internet Business, Nicole teaches businesses how to use internet tools including social media technology. She will release her second book, Best Kept Secrets of Internet Business 2.0 in 2011.