Publisher's Page: Facing Reality With Technology

Posted on October 1, 1996 by Sara Eastwood-McLean - Also by this author

I’m sure I’m not the first person you’ve heard say this, but thanks to the age of technology, our world as we know it has changed forever.  The way business is handled on an international scale, which transcends down to national and local levels, commerce has already been permanently altered, and that means there’s no turning back for people like you or me.  So, as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

New innovations are thrown at us almost daily – faster computers, modems, e-mail, Windows, the Internet….Things can seem overwhelming and unnerving at times.  It’s not so long ago that a fax machine was a business luxury only the elite were privy to.  Now, not only are they a standard in even a one-man office, they’re basically a household commodity.  We were just getting used to computers and programs such as WordStar, when WHAM, they became obsolete.  Instead of using our function keys, we’re expected to point and click at our computer screens with this thing called a “mouse!”

Well, the bottom line is this is reality and those that step up to the plate and face it will survive and those who don’t, won’t.  Once the government released the Internet to the public (it’s actually been in existence for over 30 years), logistical barriers between people were eliminated.  Moreover, it’s as though our planet has developed a whole new language.  If you don’t understand it, then it becomes very difficult to communicate and even tougher to conduct business.

In our little limousine corner of the world, learning and using technology, such as the Internet, is becoming a standard method of generating new business as well as communicating accounts.  More and more executives are asking for an e-mail address rather than a fax number for items such as invoices, reservation confirmations, etc.  Also, consumers are turning to the Internet for reference information rather than relying on their local Yellow Pages.  Since the Internet knows no geographic boundaries, people can peruse limousine service listings in another state of even another country (helpful for the business traveler).  The price for a listing on the Internet is also ridiculously low, starting at about $22 per month.  Plus, there are many more options to use to your advantage.

For example, a “Web Page” is really just an advertisement with the capability to interact with the “browser” or the prospect reading your page.  You can design your page to ask questions and get immediate responses.  You can also change the information on your page as often as you want, making it simple to promote specials, seasonal packages, and so on.

The fact remains that the Internet is fast becoming a standard in business communication.  L&C realizes this and is proud to present, in this issue, our first article ever on the subject.  Our national convention, the LIMOUSINE & CHAUFFEUR Show, November 11-13  is debuting the first Internet workshop, “Net Profits,” presented by the NLA.

Once you sit down and play with the Internet functions, it’s remarkably straight forward and easy, or more accurately: user-friendly.  You’ll find that things just click.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Don’t be a skeptic.  Don’t think you won’t have a need for it, because you will, and what’s more, down the road you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever managed your business without it.


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