On my drive to work, I see businesses up for sale, big stores closing left and right, and people looking for work on the corners. Every night, the news hours tell stories of companies laying off thousands of employees, and we listen to the difficult stories told by friends and family members who have lost their jobs, are about to lose their jobs, or can't seem to get hired. Blame for this whole mess remains up for debate, but what I do know is that small businesses have a wonderful opportunity to narrow the gap between themselves and larger competitors.
While large businesses cut their workforce and budgets to please their investors, crafty small businesses have a unique chance to shift their pawns into strike positions and plan for their attack. Small businesses are used to being resourceful since money has always been hard to come by, and these times are nothing new to many.
We feel like we are in the same boat here at Freelock. While others around us falter, we are attempting our ascent. We've spent thousands to launch our new website, hire talented individuals, and are attracting more and more customers by delivering and increasing services as opposed to decreasing our offering. We've also managed to save thousands of dollars by using Open Source technologies to operate and market our business, savings that have helped put us in the excellent position we are in.
As a former small business owner and serial small-business employee, I was amazed at how much you can get in the Open Source world if you have a bit of time and resourcefulness. Simple things like websites, complex things like CRM systems, and strange things you will never use like an Achilles Life Simulator (no joke!). I find myself challenging the limits of Open Source on a daily basis, thinking to myself theres no way that theres a program that can do that and then spending 20 minutes trying to find it.
I can admit that Open Source isn't right for everyone, but I can also say with confidence that proprietary systems from the giant mega companies aren't right either. Its got to be a strategic choice to break away from the pack and make a sprint for the front. It has to fit your strategic vision and you've got to have the corporate culture to back it up. Combine those two items with an infrastructure of Open Source technology and you can find yourself way out in front of your competition and/or closing the gaps between you and a larger company in an economic downturn.
We know we aren't alone, we know there are more of "us" out there drooling over the opportunity they see, just waiting by the door for the right time to act. If you're interested, we'd love to have you! (if you've got what it takes)