Technology has filtered into nearly every area of daily life, and small businesses are certainly no exception. Business owners who started their businesses over 15 years ago rarely came into contact with the internet, there were no credit card swipers, there was no type of social media. The only outlets they had to reach customers were print media, television and radio.
Since the turn of the century the situation has changed 360 degrees. As a small business, you need to keep up with technology, but it’s moving fast. Technology, specifically websites, e-commerce and social media, have been of great benefit for those businesses who have managed to embrace this new technology.
Getting involved with the internet and social media attracts people that normally wouldn’t come into contact with most small businesses. Because they may live outside of the area in which your business is based. There is a benefit of getting a market out there that’s not local.
The internet and social media can be incredibly helpful in getting your business up and running or to attract new and untapped markets. Having a website lends credibility to your brand and utilising social media such as Facebook and Twitter can get your products or services seen by a massive online market.
Most generations now know how to use the internet and almost are all are on social media or have access to it. Technology has infiltrated into all areas of business. Applications such as Paypal, Sage Pay and Square allow businesses to accept credit/debit cards for easy online payment.
From a small business perspective, your biggest competition is the Internet, which was not an issue 15 years ago. People used to shop at their local small businesses. They shopped in town centres and the big new out of town ‘malls’, and they actually went to the brick-and-mortar locations to conduct their business. Now, it’s more common for people to shop from the comfort of their own home via their computer or their mobile devices. Now if your a business that does not have a presence on the web, you can bet your competition does and that your business will be losing out because of it.
Opportunities now abound and businesses can nowadays thrive because of today’s technology. Many businesses are solely online, for example ‘Amazon’ and others that used to be traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ retailers now do more and more business is online. Internet commerce opens up doors for a lot of beginning entrepreneurs because it eliminates the up-front cost or risk of renting or buying a brick-and-mortar property.
Having such a diverse and large market enables businesses to keep niche themes because they sell items nationally or globally. People wanting to start businesses in rural areas might not have the foot traffic to succeed with a traditional brick-and-mortar setup. The Internet opens your business up to the entire world giving you a solid client base that can, when the time comes, lead you to open a bricks and mortar shop or service property.
Having a website definitely gets businesses ‘out there’ a lot faster. If a small business starts with minimal money in hand, it’s easier to reach a larger client base. With such opportunities at hand there has probably never been a better time to start!
See my article on choosing the best hosting provider HERE. My overall choices for the best hosting providers are –
Best Budget UK Based Shared Hosting Provider
Best Overall Hosting Support & Platform Shared & VPS Hosting
Best Cloud, VPS & Dedicated Server Hosting Provider
*A relatively new type of hosting, ‘Cloud Hosting’ has emerged in recent years. I will write another article on this subject and or amend this article when I have firmed up my thoughts on this development.