In 1995, Non-Employer businesses or one man companies numbered less than 15 million. Today, they are more than 45 million. Interestingly most of these new “solopreneurs” made this choice on their own (they weren’t laid off or fired). 1995 was also right around when small businesses began to rapidly adapt cell phones as their main method telephone communication.
Along with cell phones came voicemail which small business owners immediately began depending on for their missed calls. But a funny thing happened in the late 90’s. The major cellular carriers noticed the use of voicemail on their systems and concocted a scheme to insert “instructions” that callers must listen to adding 15-20 seconds to every call that is sent to voicemail.
This now generates an estimated $750 million to $1 billion annually for each of the carriers.
But, with the solopreneur workforce increasing three fold and projected to be half the US workforce by 2020, do you really still want to depend on voicemail? Especially subjecting your potential new business callers to the rigors of the cellular carriers mandatory instructions?
The most competitive one man companies have already realized this is unacceptable. They know they need a live answer for their new business callers and have waded into the murky waters of answering services.
I will talk about this more in my next post.