05/16/2010 07:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What's Your New Business Model for 2010

For many of us in the world of business, and particularly business owners and leaders, 2009 was a year to which we are thrilled to say "adieu." Now that we're past it, I can stop being angry at 2009, and take a moment to say thank you for all that I learned from it. I don't know about you, but I've gathered up all that learning and am applying it to our business in the new decade.

What did I learn? Most important of all, I learned to be willing to change my company's business model. What worked in the '90's, most likely may not work in the new decade. So take a hard look at your market. Do research on what your target audience wants and be willing to really shake up your business. 2009 was about reducing costs and staying in business. 2010 is about growing the business. In many cases, that may require a new business model, or at the very least, a new way of doing business.

What is my company's new business model? Women's Leadership Exchange (WLE) - a company known for its live conferences since 2002, is presenting the first Virtual Summit for Women Business Owners and Professionals, (and men can attend, too) on Wednesday, May 26.

How did we arrive at the decision to change our business model? First, the technology has finally arrived to the point that we can deliver everything we have at live conferences virtually in streaming video - right to your own PC or Mac. Second, businesses are looking to save on expenses. So if my company can deliver to our audience valuable keynotes, workshops, networking, resources and exhibits on our customers' computers, they save time and save money - two things that are in low supply these days. Business owners can use those bucks they would have used on fees, travel and parking to invest in their own businesses. Third, business owners have no time. They are multi-tasking like crazy. The virtual format enables us to archive the conference content so that our attendees can go back after the event and listen and see it again as often as they want. Once a live event is over, it's over and if you missed hearing something, it's gone forever. But at the WLE Virtual Summit, you can replay the speeches, etc. and remind yourself and your team about all the great information you learned or didn't get to hear the first time. The fourth reason we decided to change our business model is that a Virtual Summit is NEW and exciting. It gives us something new to talk about - it's a great opportunity for PR. By the way, the WLE Virtual Summit is being keynoted by Arianna Huffington, who created a new business model herself - The Huffington Post. So the theme of the conference "A New Way of Doing Business is kicked off by a leader who embraces change and doing things differently.

So what's your new business model? What are you doing differently? Please share, so we can all learn from each other!! Tell us what you are doing and maybe we'll invite you to share your story at the next WLE Virtual Summit.