I am no expert but I believe that in the last 10 years services and products have become much more accessible than they were in the past. I hardly ever leave my house to buy anything anymore. I can look up what I want online, find the best deal, read the reviews, and make a purchase. This is huge and with Twitter and FaceBook and all the other social media sites out there the review has become priceless.
This shift in accessibility has changed the way each of us present ourselves. In the past you might have a business card if you were the manager of a store or part of a major corporation but today everyone has a business card. Today everyone seems to have a niche.
These days you can claim to be a “sports enthusiast” and have a the business card to prove it. The cost is minimal to have your name as a URL on the internet and instantly begin to write about your sports thoughts. You then can post links to those thoughts on all your social networks and within minutes you are connected with the masses.
This plays a major role today in small businesses. People can now find the best, smartest, or simply cheapest way to get what they need through the internet. 10 years ago it was virtually unheard of to be able to own a camera that would shoot pure HD footage and today you can go to the store and buy one for under $1,000.
The systems have changed and you must adapt to those new systems because people are not going to pay more than what is required when they can simply do their own research and save. The power of relationships is another key as well. Surround yourself with other people that may draw a similar demographic.