The very nature of business has been transformed dramatically by the rise of the internet, as has a lot of different aspects of modern life. The internet revolutionized the way a business operates; it introduced a wide range of changes necessary to its survival. But, as a small business owner, do you feel confident that you are using the internet to your advantage? To put it simply, a business today will struggle to survive without the internet. It has had a profound effect on the way most businesses operate but especially small businesses.
Read on for more information.
In the past, it was notoriously difficult to get a business up and running, and entry into the business world as a whole was restricted. However, with the internet, the initial start-up costs are now a lot lower, and it is far easier to start a small business. You can gain visibility and make connections through your website or social media; you can network with business contacts and affiliates. You can even find investors. The internet has also made it easier to find talented individuals who can help your business to grow. In addition, you can research and test products before committing to producing large quantities, which reduces the chance of failure.
The internet has increased the efficiency of all the markets. It has made it a lot easier for people to find things that fulfil their niche interests. It is much more convenient for the collectors of niche items who would not otherwise be able to source these goods through traditional stores. The internet has made it incredibly simple to connect with other people and businesses who share and trade in rare goods. Historically, small businesses who deal in niche goods would have to find a store to sell their item to, but thanks to the internet, they can now deal directly with their consumers regardless of locale.
When someone visits your website for the first time, they have no idea of the size of your business; they are simply looking for a solution or a product that fulfils their need. It doesn’t necessarily matter where you are based or whether you are a huge corporation or a one-person business. Traditionally small businesses were extremely limited with their reach, but not anymore. However, it does mean that your website is incredibly important. Most small business owners tend to keep things generic to play it safe; however, that makes it easier for your website to get lost in the shuffle. To ensure that your target audience is engaged, you should implement SEO practices and try to lean into your niche to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
One of the biggest ways the internet has managed to transform the way a small business runs is accessibility. All you need to get started as a small business is internet access and an online storefront. As mentioned above, this accessibility widens your reach, which means that consumers from all over the world can purchase your goods, and you can operate from anywhere, including your home. As there is no need for a brick-and-mortar location, the overheads for your business is reduced, although depending on your products, you may need to rent out some storage. Your business is not affected by the sometimes-extortionate rental prices and utility bills. You can stay running regardless of the things going on in the world around you. Take the pandemic as an example; a lot of traditional stores struggled, they were forced to close, and a lot of them risked bankruptcy. On the flip side, online stores saw soaring profits.
Access to Resources
The adoption of the internet into modern life means that every person with an internet connection has access to a wealth of knowledge. You can find helpful resources on almost every aspect of running a business. Leading industry experts and other businesses offer the benefit of their knowledge up to anyone who wishes to read their blog posts or visit their sites. There are even apps and other programmes that you can purchase to make the running of your business easier. Take SetApp as an example; they have hundreds of apps designed to make life easier for a small business owner and increase productivity. But, they also have a blog on their website where they share advice and instructions on a wide range of topics, from downloading programmes like Microsoft Publisher on Mac for free to editing PDFs to working on a split-screen. It is almost astounding that a lot of this extremely beneficial knowledge is also free to access. So make sure you are utilizing it correctly.
Traditionally, any business looking to market itself would have to use TV, radio, and print ads, but this is no longer the case. Instead, digital marketing dominates the scene. There are many different options when it comes to digital marketing, in part due to the rise of social media. For smaller businesses who do their marketing in-house, this offers a lot of possibilities. While it is true that bigger businesses do benefit from being more well-known and having a larger advertising budget, the accessibility that the internet offers has somewhat levelled the playing field. You can reach a wider audience without paying through the nose for airtime or space in print advertising. In fact, you can advertise online quite cheaply; social media is free to use – although there is a charge for promoting posts. Your website also does not cost that much to run after the initial start-up costs, and if you use both of these platforms well, you can easily attract new customers.
The internet has had a hugely empowering effect on wannabe business owners and entrepreneurs. More and more people are choosing to start a small business from the comfort of their own homes. The internet negates the need for a physical store. So it is incredibly important that you invest in your online presence. Implementing the right strategy and taking advantage of the internet’s benefits can ensure that your business is a success.