Today’s word or I should say the phrase is online vs offline. As I have found no old notes on that topic, I began thinking about how to approach it and what to write.
I spent a good amount time of Googling that phrase in a search for inspiration. As I an entry point on that topic, I found 2 dominating themes for that phrase – education and shopping. I have no interest, nor much experience in those 2 areas so I closed the laptop and brainstormed.
The great joy and fun of this writing challenge is the freedom to explore any topic. You can approach the daily word from any angle you like. You are not bound to a specific niche or theme. Furthermore, you can write online or offline, whatever you find more convenient. I’m digressing here… Let’s get back to the phrase…
Online vs Offline
My family started a promotional gifts and printing business back in 1994 where the internet was… at its infant stage. Meaning the business was almost completely offline. We had no website or email at the very beginning. Just phone, fax, and business cards. The communication with active and potential customers was entirely offline – you either had to go meet in person or call them. As much as I talk on the phone these days, I’m really happy that I joined the business after it came online.
The main thing I dislike about offline communication is its restrictive nature.
You’re not in control of your time as much as you might want to. During active business hours, you have to be present and ready to accept an incoming call or meeting. Some might say “Well, you can still plan your day!” but when you are running a small business and the communication is offline, trust me – you can’t. You want to be open and accept any call and meeting as they emerge.
The things I love about online communication is that
- you regain some freedom and can schedule your day
- That doesn’t mean you can schedule a tennis class at 13:00 every day. But you can have some personal time during “active business hours” and it will not affect your operations. You can catch up with the work and night, in the morning. You are free to reorganize your schedule and have a better work/life balance.
- you are accepting incoming inquiries 24/7
- Your website, emails, chatbots, online store – everything is available 24/7. Your active and potential customers can place orders, ask questions and get answers. You don’t have to be present at a specific time and place anymore.
As much as I love online communication, it cannot fully replace the meetings and the calls. And that is perfectly fine!
Meetings are still a key component in our communication strategy. During meetings, we create better relationships and a better understanding of our customers. We can present our products and services better. At the end of the day, we are selling promotional gifts and merchandise. People like seeing and touching what they are about to gift to their most valuable partners and customers.
Phone calls, in most cases, supplement email communication. They the personal touch to that relationship. It is always nice to hear the voice and the laughter of the person you’ve been exchanging emails with for the past couple of days or even weeks.
This article is part of my writing challenge – Writing Seed. Join it and become more consistent with writing. It’s totally free.