This year, one of the largest phone book providers in the country (Verizon) announced plans to stop printing phone books in large chunks of the country. Increasingly, people of all ages turn to the internet for information on friends, businesses, and shopping and the phone book has become little more than a wasteful relic.
In May, Verizon announced that they would no longer print White Pages in New York. By eliminating these phone books, Verizon will save nearly 5000 tons of paper annually. Consumer research determined that only one in every nine households uses a phone book. The other 8 out of 9 households use the internet or mobile devices.
I predict that phone books will be completely eliminated by 2015.
Phone books are being replaced by review sites like Yelp and Google Places. These resources allow users to share information about local businesses like reviews, tips, and photos. They also allow entrepreneurs to post detailed information about their businesses and reach out to customers in unique and engaging ways.
The times they are a-changin'.
Will you benefit from these changes or get swept into obscurity? Whether you like it or not, the old strategies and tools have become obsolete. Those who can adapt to change and create plans for the future will thrive.
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