Small Businesses and The Internet
Why is the connection between Small Businesses and The Internet so important?
If you run a small business or a sole trader in start-up mode – the chances are you are relying on word of mouth for your business. Have you ever considered having a website?
Internet Connection Speeds
According to the CSO,
“Internet access in households has increased over the period 2007-2011 with an estimated 78% now connected to the internet compared with 72% in 2010 and 57% in 2007.”
The research also shows that the young people are well connected to the internet with the penetration of smart mobile devices and easy availability of high bandwidth mobile data connections at extremely cheap rates.
15 years ago, if you had a 56.1kbps internet connection it was considered fast. Today UPC offer a 100Mbps home internet connection. To put it into context, if car speeds had moved at similar rate, cars today would be travelling at 17,820 miles per hour (assuming 10miles per hour speeds for the first generation of cars). Clearly, there has been a massive jump in connectivity and connection speeds.
The speed upgrades are not limited to fixed internet connections either. 15 years ago, mobile internet was unheard of and today we can access internet on our smart devices at 3.125Mbps and the 4G networks will only further enhance those speeds.
All the bandwidth availability has made internet the fastest growing and the most pervasive technology in the world. Just take a look at this infographic from Mashable to get an idea of how much has changed in the cyber world in the last 10 years!
What this means for your business?
With the ever growing user base, the internet is a powerful way for you to advertise your business. You might want to just share your knowledge in your area of expertise or show off your latest products. The possibilities are endless.
A business website can be used to tell people about products and services or for a direct online sale. Either way a website is a powerful medium for you to have a one-way conversation with your prospective customers.
A modern business can not afford to miss out on the massive opportunity to interact with its customers via the internet anymore.
A website doesnt have to be flashy and use the latest technologies – highly reliable content and accurate and honest information is a lot more powerful in establishing loyalty with your customer base. You have a unique chance to become an expert in your business area and then exploit that loyalty and turn it into real business transactions.
I have enough business already – I dont need a website!
If you are a cynic, I can assure you that a website only enhances your business’ position in the economy. While you are comfortably busy at the moment, you can not rely on that to grow your business.
Growing a business in todays world is like growing a relationship – you have to convince your customers that you are the right choice for them and the website allows you to do that.
And getting online doesnt even have to break the bank anymore, you can get good, professional websites at very competitive prices today – just take a look at Xava’s Website Design and Hosting service for an example.