The Internet provides business with an inexpensive marketing platform. Whilst this is true for both Big and Small Business, it is in fact Small Business that will benefit more.
A chain store such as Edgars is well known and can be found in every major shopping mall in South Africa. Either you buy from them or you don’t buy from them. Their presence on the Internet serves to keep you aware of them and also allows you to communicate with them. If they has no presence on the Internet, they could still survive. by being visible on TV, billboards, fliers and print advertisement (all of which they use.)
But a Small Business, even if it has more than one location, does not have the luxury of being so visible. It will use the same tools to promote itself as Big Business, but it does not have the same marketing budget. And, this is where the Internet comes in. A Web Site can be seen by anyone even those outside of the area where the business is located. This is ideal for specialist operations as well as price comparisons.
The cost of a Web Site will differ according to what is included and depending on who creates it. Once you have a Web Site in place, you can enhance you you Interent Presence hrough the use of Social Media, such as Facebook or Twitter. These will help you to build a community around your service or product, as well as promote your product or service.
Lets look at the big picture. Almost every business is run by computer. And every business man or woman is likely to to the following every day using either a computer, smart phone or a tablet:- check their eMail (several times a day.) And eMail requires an Internet connection, which means he or she will take it a step further and check their Facebook or read some tweets. So, no matter how computer illiterate a businessman may be, they are starting to see the value of computers and the Internet, which means their staff are connected.
The value of the Internet to Small Business goes beyond eMail. During the course of any day, staff working at a business are likely to interact with several Web Sites related to their business. they will read industry related news on Blogs, check the news feed on their Facebook for anything business related. This is no different to the way things were done twenty years ago, you would check your (snail) mall, and read the trade papers to keep up with industry news.
The Internet gives Small Business the tools to compete against Big Business on an even footing.
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