Internet And Small Businesses Essay

2010 words - 8 pages

The internet has had enormous effects in businesses, not only in Los Angeles, but the world over. Internet usage has favored small businesses in many ways. Theoretically, all sites on the Internet are equal, and the small businesses can launch complex sales programs and implement effective globalization strategies on the Internet just like the bigger companies. However, certain guidelines must be observed by owners of small businesses in order to enjoy the benefits of the Internet commerce. This study provides some practical implementation strategies to work at each stage of the Web site life cycle in an effort to help small businesses implement successful Internet commerce programs.Electronic commerce pertains to a wide variety of business activities, which are conducted electronically. It covers a range of electronic interactions between organizations and their up and downstream trading partners (Steinfield, 1995; Umar, 1997). Many technologies can be used in support of electronic commerce. As described by the Electronic Commerce Association, it may involve streamlining processes, interconnectivity, Internet, electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic funds transfer, e-mail, security, electronic document management, workflow processing, middleware, barcoding, imaging processing, smart cards, voice responses, and networking.Among those technologies, the one which has recently become the focus of attention from all business management is the Internet. The potential of the Internet and in particular, the World Wide Web (WWW), has gained incredible notoriety as commercial mediums and markets (Alhadeff and Cohen, 1997; Hoffman et al., 1995; Indermaaur, 1997; Seeley, 1997; Senn, 1996). The tremendous growth of the Internet and the WWW has led to an enormous amount of consumers and firms participating in a global online marketplace. The rapid, and somewhat unexpected, adoption of the Internet as a commercial medium has forced firms to experiment with new ways of marketing to and doing business with existing and potential customers.As more and more businesses start realizing that the Internet can be a very real commercial market, management must be actively involved in trying to keep up with this changing technological environment (Ricciuti, 1995). The Internet, however, may not mean big business for American's small businesses. As revealed by the results of a recent Gallup poll of 1,000 NFIB members, 77 percent of small businesses do use computers. But only 40 percent of these firms have online access capability (Stein, 1997).In this study, the potential of the Internet, in particular the WWW for helping small businesses gain competitive advantages will be explored. Some critical issues of creating and maintaining Web sites will then be discussed. Questions that small businesses may have regarding this new marketing medium will then be addressed. A brief summary of some practical implementation strategies coupled with directions for future study...

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