The Potential Of The Internet For Small Business Development

3418 words - 14 pages

The Potential of The Internet For Small Business DevelopmentAreas of business opportunity for SMEs using the internet.Why use the internet for marketing - On top of helping a small business develop, the internet also has the potential to increase the market profile of a small business. The internet is growing rapidly and many businesses have already harnessed its communication potential. Any small business with an iota of how to succeed will look upon the internet and its facilities such as the World Wide Web and email as a massive marketing opportunity. ( Web is available to potential customers on a 24 hour basis, which is obviously more beneficial and available than an average high street shop. The Web also holds the power of defining a company's audience and is then able to target this through the use of advertising, sales promotion and good public relations. Opportunities created by internet marketing include:*Interactive multimedia.*A cost-effective approach to marketing.*Global coverage*Using email.Internet marketing offers a cost-effective opportunity for small businesses to be represented with not simply text, but interactive colour pictures, film clips and sound. Not only is the small business represented in a commercial manner, but also customers are drawn toward the interactive aspect of the site. This takes one step further and where customers once passively absorbed product information, they are now able to experience products or services in a whole new way through the Web. The Internet allows all companies, regardless of size, the same footing. This is because any potential customer accessing a Web page will immediately be presented with that company's logo despite the actual location of that business. And so, in moving from a local to a global market, any small business will gain a significantly larger competitive advantage. Although in truth it may not be the case, in making a Web page look professional, the image of a company can be substantially improved. ( extensive PR activities available on the Internet will gain a company a great deal of exposure. Such activities include short releases detailing new products and services soon to hit the market aimed at appropriate groups through mailing. ( The process of building and upholding customer relationships falls into four stages:*The awareness stage - getting a prospective customer's attention.*The permission stage - asking for their permission to stay in touch.*The involvement stage - when the customer demonstrates involvement with you, normally by making a purchase.*The loyalty stage - with repeat customers who tell their friends about you. ( will typically gain a response from those interested, and will direct them back to the relevant main marketing page. Likewise, in sponsoring a specific page, that may involve may be linked to a particularly useful and important activity, a company can raise its...

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