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The Real Reason For Small Business To Be Online

Posted On - 21/11/2014 09:07:02


The Internet: A Great Opportunity if Used Right
In our series "The Internet Is Broken" we set out how today's internet is built on flawed foundations. Because while it's great for finding out and looking at stuff, it's a disaster for business.

Sure buyers benefit from huge choice and great value but, bit-by-bit, the internet is killing the golden goose.

While legions of small businesses spring up to make their fortune and fail because they can't, the big names only endure by avoiding tax.

None of this makes sense and can't continue.

But if you think we're anti-internet just because we point out its flaws, think again. It's a fabulous opportunity, it's just we think the opportunity is different to what most think it is.

The reason for being online is not about the money

Don't be deceived: trading online is tough for small businessesIn the UK the average business with less than 10 employees takes just £1,000/annum in revenue from eCommerce - fact. At 0.6% of turnover that's no commercial imperative.

But what about the Big Guys like Amazon? Well, as we saw in the last blog, for all their huge turnover, they barely make any profit.

So why go to the trouble? No matter how big you get, you'll never make money! Could there be other, different, reasons that make it worthwhile? A different way of looking of things that means having a website is the right thing to do?

Perhaps to attract customers? Or improve communication? Raise awareness? Be more accessible? So people can find you when searching the web? And so on... These could all be reasons the question is, are any or all them right? And if they are, are they enough?

The writing is on the wall (already)

Half the UK's top 10 reasons for using the internet concern 'research'If you are to get to grips with how to use the web you have to stop – right now – thinking YOU know the answer.

The only way to make a success of it is to genuinely know, not to think or believe you know, to actually know how people use the web and what they use it for.

That means putting yourself in your customer's and prospect's shoes. With no real money in eCommerce the issue is what to do to make it worth the effort?

In ShopTalks first session at the 2014 Open Day - "The Internet Is Broken" – we looked at what people use the web for: half of the top ten reasons were for ‘research'.

So that means rather than trying to flog people stuff, you need to give them information. The question is what?

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Also in this series
  1. SEO for Small Business
  2. How to Design a Small Business Website
  3. Website Strategy for Small Business
  4. The Real Reason For Small Business To Be Online
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