Evolving Business: Human Connection is Still at the Core

“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin famously made the above statement. While it applies to humans, that mindset equally applies to business.

There’s no doubt about it — business structures are evolving.

Thanks to the pandemic, entrepreneurs shifted quickly into organizational changes for the short and long term. From cutting office space for hybrid models to fully remote staff schedules, change wasn’t an experience CEOs could sidestep.

Ky and Lisa Ekinci

Evolution is what a successful business always must do.

Long before the pandemic ever started, thinking outside of the box about what workplaces look like was what the Office Divvy team did and continues to do.

The Palm Coast-based company — founded in 2007 — provides professional office spaces, virtual office services and other small business consulting services.

In 2023 and beyond, business owners have to step up and be willing to commit to their personal and professional development. That’s especially true along the Palm Coast, especially for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.

Lisa Ekinci, one of the three co-founders of Office Divvy, says getting out of the house and connecting with others is the key to moving a business in the right direction.

“You have to be in a total growth mindset,” says Ekinci. “There are some coworking spaces that have cropped up in our community. Coworking has always been about community; there is such a beautiful dynamic in the coworking community.”

Ekinci says she’s meeting with business service owners who might have traditionally thought they needed a brick-and-mortar storefront but then deviated. After seeing a coworking space, one pest control company she consulted with realized they didn’t need the overhead of an office building after all.

The two business veterans realized they could get all the business services needed by investing in Office Divvy’s services over a building. For example, the cost savings for using a virtual assistant for outbound calls or other processes is around 78% annually, according to a survey by Best of Budgets.

With the disruption of the economy and emerging tech, many companies must regain public trust. Thirty-eight percent of consumers in a recent PwC 2023 Trust survey say that once trust is damaged, they’ll skip buying from a company.

Currently, companies large and small need to build consumer trust, says Ekinci. It’s what Ekinci calls a “macrotrend” in business across the board.

“Even the trend now with large corporations is trust,” she explains. “So many big firms are leading with trust because of how so many consumers are feeling further and further away. Because of tech and the undoing of things and more removal of human connection, trust is such a big thing. When you’re doing business with people, there’s no substitute for connection, so we have to find new ways to have it.”

For the Palm Coast business community, that looks like brainstorming and networking together to reconnect with consumers creatively. After hitting pause on Entrepreneur Night due to the pandemic, Office Divvy plans to bring it back.

It’s where a local female woodworker’s physical wooden “soapbox” will be used. It’s where business cards will exchange hands. It’s where big ideas sprout.

The human aspect, Ekinci believes, will keep Palm Coast’s small businesses evolving now and in the future.

“There’s no substitute for the human connection,” she says. “We have to be inventive and creative and know we want it and seek it and require it.”