The Internet And Small Business Collaboration – Increasing Revenue Growth

The Internet brings many opportunities and advantages to small businesses but these firms are not grasping the concept of how and why to use the Internet to increase sales. Many small businesses use word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers, which generally reaps local revenue. In most cases, due to limited revenue generation, prices of products and services from small businesses are higher compared to larger competition. This in turn can further decrease sales due to customers looking for products that fit within their budgets. Small businesses such as consignment shops, shoe stores, and consumer product firms are failing to see the potential in using the Web for advertising their existence and selling their products and services.

There is a large consumer base that prefers receiving information via the Internet and will most likely be exposed to a firm due to a website or affiliate link than a phone book. Such customers most likely does not even own a phone book or yellow pages because the Internet in an online directory itself that provides much more than just a phone number and an address for a business but detailed information that leads to more company awareness. When individuals are too busy to travel to malls and other shopping centers for products, they turn to the Internet for advertisement information and to potential buy products as to less the constraints on their free time that can be garnered from traveling to stores, physically searching for products, and waiting in longs lines. Small businesses that do not have store websites are missing out on potential sales because they are not factoring in the manner in which many consumer purchases products and services or at least become familiar with local business through information presented on websites that can satisfy their needs.

Most small business owners tend to stay away from advertising and selling online to keep the mom and pop feel and their uniqueness but these owners are not understanding the demographics and purchasing trends of their existing and potential customers. Today’s society warrants more time to accomplish multiple tasks and the Internet provides such a luxury for very busy individuals. Small business owners not exercising the advantages of their own online presence will continuously be upstaged by the larger competition that are accessible 24 hours 7 days a week for information sharing or purchasing. Many of these small business owners that are not using the Internet are older and do not feel the need to learn such technology or find it frustrating but there are ways around this such as hiring someone to create the website and manage its functionality. The biggest advantage of using the Internet is to increase awareness of one’s business so that sales can increase as well and if there is the option to buy online, these firms will see revenue generation from two models of business: the traditional and e-Commerce structures.

The following are some strategies for small business owners to examine to determine if a web presence is the correct tactic for them:

1. Research statistics of a website’s influence on increased purchases due to additional advertising that reaches numerous individuals

2. Determine who their customers are from those that buy within the store or who they want their customers to be based on their products or services to indicate if these individuals use the Internet for information gathering and purchasing

3. Ascertain the cost effectiveness of owning a website by conducing a cost/benefit analysis between how much the website and its maintenance will cost compared to the potential increase in revenue generation

4. Evaluate the competition’s web site to evaluate their strategies for delivering information and selling techniques and examine how to benchmark themselves against these firms

As small businesses determine the best methods to increase their operations, the Internet should not be discounted. This vehicle can translate into higher traffic for physical stores if websites are information based and into higher sales if the website has a purchasing function. When businesses are first established, there is the notion that the owner would want to be prosperous and have longevity. Small business owners need to utilize all applicable methods to bring awareness to their stores, especially in a society that is immersed in technological tools to make their purchasing experience much more rewarding. Business owners must stay abreast of the trends in their industries to fully have access to the techniques that will generate prosperity and steady expansion. The Internet is such a tool that will assist in the continued existence and growth of any firm that choose to use its structure for advancement and competitive advantages.

Copyright © 2007 Michelle Hill

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Top Facts on Small Business Consulting

Hard work and innovative ideas are the only way to achieve business success. The most prominent business people around the world have proved this with their success stories. Every businessman will have a story to tell regarding his hard work and how he managed to achieve all success, he has achieved throughout his journey. Anyways, being successful is a trend which might not go well every time. Running a business is not that tough if you are doing it right. Nowadays, there are business consulting services which will give you awesome support, regarding specific fields to ensure effectiveness of your sales and marketing. There are plenty of small business consulting services out there.

You need to have some general information regarding these small business consulting services to ensure brilliant outputs. Not every small business consultant services out there will give you those positive results that you are expecting. Research and comprehensive learning process are the success for any efficient strategy. The main advantage in hiring small business coaching services is that they will have deep knowledge in different aspects that will be determining the efficiency of your business strategies. has witnessed many evolution in the business field. However, this sector has gone through many changes when compared to the initial small business consultant service facilities.

The evolution of small business coaching services made things much easier and quicker for businesses. Nowadays, you don’t need to wait for long days in order to experience a positive change in your business climate. The strategies utilized by the business consultant services are really quick and efficient. Things get better as soon as they start their process. The main process here refers to the recommendations and tricks they suggest regarding the particular section of the business. There are many different types of business coaching services. The selection of these services must be greatly depended on the type of business you have set up.

It is a good idea to make use of these business consultant services, in order to gain some exceptional advancement in a limited period of time. Actually these excellence will be automatically gained by all entrepreneurs eventually, but it takes time. As these types of small business consulting services are available out there, you can make things done pretty fast. There should not be any confusion regarding any of the aspects. You should make a comprehensive learning process regarding these services to ensure a smooth procedure.

First thing to check is the sector in which the particular consulting service is focusing. It is obvious that all of these services will have certain sector in which they are specialized. Knowing this fact will have lots of influence in getting the expected results. Some of them will be experts in sales consulting whereas some other might have excellence in marketing and management. Determine these factors regarding these small business consulting services and enjoy superb results. These consulting services do not just give you great profits but also a good reputation and business image. If you are using these services in the right way things will get more impressive for sure.

Small Business Websites – Why A Small Business Website Does Not Produce Results

When a small business decides to take their business online there are usually several mistakes that they do. This is partially due to lack of experience and often lack of knowledge. There seems to be a trend that small businesses think of their website as an online business card instead of a marketing tool. That is where the majority of them go wrong. So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes done when a small business takes their business online.

1. Order of links

So many times you visit a small business website and they proudly flag the “about us” link as their first link. This is called the pride link because they often think that telling people about the company is the most important thing. The links should be in order of importance. Not in the order of the business owners EGO! If you use a website designer and he does consult you on the order of links, chances are you should be using someone else or at least make sure you educate yourself about online marketing because your website designer sure hasn’t!

2. No focus

Most small business websites lack focus. When you enter you are not sure where to go next which makes it hard for the user to understand exactly what he is supposed to do. The website should flow and the user should be able to make sense of the site within a few seconds of opening it up.

3. No sale / No lead setup

Many small businesses do not use their website to increase sales directly or capture leads. It is nothing more than an online brochure or business card. Sometimes the information is more confusing than it is helpful. If you competitors site is easier to navigate and captures either the sale or lead, you just lost a client. A small business websites needs to be even more on top of catching leads than a corporate website because every client lost counts more!

4. No analytics

Most small business websites have no clue what people do when they enter their site. No clue what users are really looking at and where they are losing their potential sale or lead. If customers just walked in and out of their place of work eyebrows would be raised and something would be done. Shouldn’t the same thought process apply to the site? You need to know what is going on with your small business website and what users are doing.

5. No marketing purpose

This is the biggest “Whammy” of them all. Small business websites tend to fail seeing the potential of using the website as a complete marketing tool. The fundamental reason to take a business online would be to do marketing. The lack of marketing vision explains the mistakes from above. If just this single piece was in place when a small business builds their website, many of the other things would be solved because they would educate themselves about what it means to have a marketing tool!

6. No results!

This is no surprise considering everything above. If there is no purpose, no focus, no vision and no marketing thought behind the site then there are probably no results from the site either. What is even worse is that most small business websites do not even measure results or understand how to measure results from their site. Once again it is a lack of understanding more than anything!

So what can a small business do when they are ready to take their business online and setup their small business website? The most important thing is to educate themselves in a few areas. The most important ones being, what you need to consider before building or having someone build your website. How to use the website as a marketing tool and it would be extremely beneficial to you if you at least had some understanding of what SEO is and how it works. What is the difference between a website designer, website developer and an online marketing company? All of them do different things and have a different understanding of how to use the internet; the question is what purpose is your website supposed to serve? For most it should be a marketing tool, because the internet is the most effective marketing tool available!