I’ve often wondered how any consumer-orientated business, large or small, can run a successful business without a web site. In this highly competitive, internet-based world, running a business without a web site is surely comparable to running a business without a telephone.
And yet, as we conduct our daily lives we find business after business with no real internet presence. In fact, 44% of small businesses still do not have a web site. This is a staggering percentage given the advantages a web site can bring to your business and the relatively low cost of delivering a new site!
For example, how else could a retail business sell their products to a global market or trade 24 hours a day, seven day a week without significantly increasing overheads?
The anonymous nature of the Internet provides a huge opportunity for small and medium enterprises to close the e-business gap by competing at the same level as large organisations. The home-based office has become as important as a million-pound business park location. And of course, this has had a positive effect on the market for the customer by increasing competition and driving down prices.
The message from the consumer market is very clear; the Internet is a necessity. In a recent survey completed by Plusnet, 92% of those questioned said they would keep their internet connection despite the current economic slowdown. In fact, 30% of UK broadband users would rather give up their magazine subscriptions, cigarettes and alcohol than their broadband connection.
The availability of the internet across the UK is also set to improve with the governments Digital Britain report. Communications minister Stephen Carter laid out the government’s vision for the future of technology by pledging that every home in the UK will have access to broadband at speeds of 2Mbps or more by 2012.
Consumer expectation has also had a major role to play. On the whole, if a business has a web site the consumer perceives increased confidence in that company. In fact, the opposite is potentially true. A web site is a much cheaper option than a retail premises with a high street shop front.
When was the last time you made a medium (or large) purchase without thoroughly researching your product options on the Internet first? The research opportunities are almost endless: from consumer testing to forums, professional reviews to comparison sites, and that’s before you consider the manufacturers own web site.
As more and more consumers research their purchases from the comfort of their home, I ask again; can your business afford not to have a web site?
Can Generate UK deliver your new web site? If you would like to talk about our services and what we could do for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01635 550431. Please feel free to post your comments.