Internet Disregarded by Most Small Businesses!

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Internet Disregarded by Most Small Businesses!

Internet Disregarded by Most Small Businesses!
By Henry Vowels

The small business majority is standing on the sidelines as internet growth rushes by. Most small business owners have not engaged a business web hosting company to provide them an online presence, even though the internet has reached a record growth rate. The internet has expanded more in 2005 than any year in history. A Netcraft survey reported in October 2005 that more web sites were added to the internet in 2005 than ever before--even more than the original boom of the year 2000. The survey was conducted only through Sept. 2005 and growth had already outdistanced the entire year 2000 by 1.5 million sites.1

The internet is growing faster than ever before, yet it was estimated in early 2005 that sixty to sixty-five percent of small businesses did not have a web site.2 In other words there is no avenue for an interested party online to access information directly from nearly two thirds of the businesses in the United States!

Why would a major portion of small businesses not be a part of such a visible phenomenon as the internet? Many business owners have not fully realized how influential the internet could and will be on their particular business. This series of articles is addressed to the people in charge of those businesses.

Supply the Need or Lose!

Business in its simplest form is still “find a need and fill it”. Give the customers what they want. The undeniable fact is the internet is changing what customers want and need from companies they do business with. Several aspects will be considered concerning this subject, but here is a personal example that encapsulates the main point.

Ten months ago I started banking online. This was a totally new experience though after my initial apprehension I began to be at ease with the service. Now I am used to it. It has simplified the bill paying process and saves me time. I wouldn’t be a customer of a bank that doesn’t offer this service. I have been a banking customer for over thirty-five years and in only ten months I have drastically altered my criteria for banking service.

A second factor is that now I also want the businesses I pay monthly to be accessible through online banking, so I don’t have to write them a check. My demands as a customer have changed just over these last months to the point that I would switch to a new company if the original one doesn’t meet my current needs. The internet has directly affected the expectations I have as a customer.

Businesses must be willing to change and meet such customer requirements or suffer attrition. Just as time marches on and waits for no man, the internet waits for no business. The internet is changing the way we live, and more to the point, it is changing the way we do business.

These realities are nothing new. Still, almost two of three businesses do not have a company website--for these business owners the effects the internet is having on business haven’t hit home yet.

The purpose of this article and others to come is to shed light on how the internet has, is, and will affect small business. The hope is to connect those who do not have a web presence with information revealing business benefits the internet can provide. Conversely there will be advantages derived from exploring the effects of not engaging the internet.

Business owners are urged to keep an open mind and seriously consider the future role the internet will play in our economy and more specifically the role it will play in their business. The articles to follow will highlight areas where the internet can be beneficial. Weigh the gravity of this phenomenon. Serious introspection is suggested. The stakes are too high to be ignored!
Henry Vowels- B.S.Degree in Business, Business owner for over 25 years most recently involved in web hosting with Business Web Hosting with "A Human Touch"
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