Virtual communities are the new black when it comes to business. For those who are not fashionistas, this means it is the new business staple. Any company that doesn’t jump on the technology bandwagon is going to be left behind in the dust. These days, even if you run the kind of shop that relies upon foot traffic mostly, many of those foot customers start that journey on their mobile devices. Want a latte? Let me check my smartphone to find a coffeehouse.

I'm sure you get the drift, but I'm forever shocked at how local business sometimes just don't get it. And that's a shame, because they're missing out on a lot of coin.
What some small companies also haven't realized is they can expand their businesses using virtual services. They don't have to hire a bunch of staff that mostly sits around waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, they can have active staff that generates sales - and leave the phone answering to someone much like Siri (not Tom Cruise's daughter -- but the one Apple uses).

The funny thing about how the virtual world and the Internet is that the perception has leaned toward isolation. For me, nothing could be further from the truth. My world is actually more intimate as a result of using technology. In fact, some people find out just how intimate it can be - as their sordid, personal TMI details are displayed for all of the world to see.

And social networks aren't just about fun and games. Many of these powerhouses, like LinkedIn, are nothing to sneeze at. I have a friend who gets ALL his business off of LinkedIn - and his business just keeps growing. He would never be able to do that just on his own, even if he went to every business function in the nation!

From new friendships to business colleagues and really valuable hookups (not those kind -- though that's possible too) these new relationships can last a lifetime. For business, what could be better than that?