Are Small Agencies Ready for the New Wave?

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NOELLE WEAVER: A new-wave of start-up companies is happening.

5 calls. 2 emails. 1 offer. That's the number of inquires I got this week from brand new start up companies and non-profits. The offer was to leave my current position to go start a new t-shirt company. [Sorry, not going to happen.]

We've been hearing so much about Web 2.0 and how consumers use of the web has changed. There is also a lot of press these days about empowered consumers. Let's not forget the creative class. And oh...what about the articles on Gen X and Gen Y's career goals? [Gen X , it seems, doesn't want the corner office and Gen Y are some of our nation's youngest entrepreneurs.]

What does it add up to? According to the press, a whole new wave of start-up firms and non-profits which are being funded by hefty pre-emptive venture capital. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent about 99.7% of all U.S. employers and they will generate around 70% of all new [net] jobs through 2010.

Wow. That's a lot of new businesses.

What will our industry do? Last time this happened, some agencies decided to build their businesses on the .coms hoping for growth and success along the way. Some bagged some cash on one or two but didn't solely rely on them to expand the bottom line and some actually avoided the hoopla altogether. Still others saw an opportunity to leave traditional agencies and capitalize on this movement by building something brand new called 'interactive agencies.'

No doubt about it -- this time around there's more opportunity to grab hold of the rising wave of new thinking and talent. I wonder how it will be different this time? And if we're ready?
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