Do you remember travel agents? Those hard working professionals, often in smaller offices who we would turn to when we wanted to buy travel tickets. We would call them multiple times a day, they would type the arcane codes into their computer system (Sabre or some other) and help us find the best price, or the best seats or whatever we wanted.
Of course that all changed when two things collided: Airlines started charging higher fees to travel agents and online travel sites such as Travelocity became more popular.
Many of these travel agents went out of business.
Sure, when giant changes in the industry occur, there’s not much you can do. But on the other hand, many of them went out of business because they were not able to adapt and leverage the Internet.
It’s not just travel agents, but think about realtors, newspapers and television stations, book stores and other sales models that the Internet is challenging.
Let’s assume that all the travel agents had customers. Let’s assume all had computers. Why not start a new business that compliments and/or expands on their status as a “concierge of travel”.
Jonathan Fields writes how an optometrist was facing a similar dilemma. With customers using him for their eye exam, to know what kind of glasses they needed and for glasses adjustments but buying the actual eye glasses from an online store.
Jonathan shares how he helped the optometrist think about changing his business model to leverage the internet so he not only could survive but maybe even THRIVE.
I highly suggest you check out the article.