It’s no secret that more and more of our lives are being more automated and based around tech. We see this in self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence, smart home devices that connect to our thermostats, TVs, and even lightbulbs.

On the horizon, there is a world where we can call into a company and not have to worry about trying to navigate the “Voice Recognition” prompts because there will be a virtual agent that answers the call day and night. Where lawyers are replaced with databases and intelligence to dive in and offer positive results to any case. And one in which truck drivers are a thing of the past, and automated trucks drive cross-country nonstop.

But I see a world where small business thrives because of a lack of a budget to invest in tech. Where larger companies spend their money to become autonomous, whether it’s Amazon and drone delivery, or Waymo and driverless ridesharing; I envision small businesses bringing something they can’t, a real human connection.

Look throughout history, and you will see that business has always been based on an interpersonal connection. From the local blacksmith to your insurance agent, or dare I say, your local marketing agency, it’s about people. It’s the old adage, “people buy from people, not businesses.” So, with a more and more digital and electronic world that seems to migrate away from this personal connection, small/local businesses can be that core that consumers will always honestly look for and put their trust.

So, my suggestions for 2019, get out there and make some new friends, show off the human side of your company, and don’t be afraid of the tech wave that’s coming. Embrace it, and rest easy knowing that you are going to be in a few years, completely and uniquely different than most national companies, just by being human.

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