How the Internet has Helped the Small Business
Before the advent of the personal computer, information technology was priced beyond small business and individuals for the most part. Small businesses had to work long hours beyond dealing with their primary business in order to do accounting, order supplies, organize marketing efforts, deal with payroll, taxes, etc. or pay someone else to do these tasks. Either way, it was a commitment of time or money or both that could have been spent on building the primary business.
Even though the personal computer has been around for a relatively short time in our history, the impact has been enormous. There are currently just over 1.5 billion computer users in the world. This is incredible when we realize that 15 years ago there were less than a million.
One of the benefits of the age of personal computers has been in helping in the productivity of small business. With the current economic crises, many large businesses are struggling or going under. Once rock solid companies with stock valuations of 50, 60 or even 100 dollars have seem their stocks trading for under one dollar. Amazingly, during this time, small business is becoming the true backbone of the economy. Last year, seventy percent of small businesses reported a profit.
One of the components of small business success can be attributed to the diversity of software available to perform the once mundane tasks that kept the small business entrepreneurs from doing what they do best: growing their chosen business. Another factor has been the branching out of business to the Internet. While there are many businesses functioning exclusively on the Internet, there are few regular brick and mortar businesses which do not have some sort of website; even if only a homepage.
With the influx of business entrepreneurs streaming on to the Internet they are discovering that success on the Internet requires a different set of strategies than those needed in a traditional business. These new strategies include different ways of building a customer base, advertising and marketing, receiving payments and not only promoting their product but also their website.
Fortunately we are entering into a new era. Businesses on the Internet do not need to wait on the Microsoft’s of the world to build big, expensive and generic software. Today talented programmers are creating their own small businesses and developing software to boost the efforts, profitability and productivity of entrepreneurs who have decided to join the World-Wide Web. Here is an example of the types of tasks many of today’s software is being used to accomplish:
“Shopping carts and secure sales
“Integration of payment systems
“Handling e-mail campaigns
“Submitting articles to promote business
“Creating sales letters
“Incorporating video and audio on a website
“Profiting from Ebay
“Making blogs and blog content
These are just examples of many of the various types of software applications available to help anyone become a successful entrepreneur on the Internet. To build a successful business on the Internet requires more than an idea or product but also patience and hard work. Fortunately there are many software products designed specifically for Internet business to help make some of that hard work a lot easier.