Internet and Small Business

Technology has played an imperative role in business operations. The advent of internet has given a new methodology to conduct business faster in a cost effective way in a limited time and space.

Internet is wrapped up with thousands of interconnected networks connected worldwide. The deployment of Internet in business has given rise to perform business worldwide to unlimited audience and it is one of the best methods for globalizing business. Internet is a powerful tool for winning a business strategy that assists companies to compete with their competitors and to improve customer satisfaction and hence internet business model has been formulated to assist companies to choose the right model at the right time.

Internet business is simply not designing websites to promote the products it has its unique process to automate. Internet business helps manufacturers to understand the customer’s wants and needs by understanding their behavior when they visit company websites or research any relevant information and this in-turn helps manufacturers and marketers to produce customize and personalize product.

Internet business has changed the marketing practices of company to the great extent and hence marketers need to be more and more proactive and creative to reach and convince their audience to buy products.

Today many companies have also set up extranets with their suppliers to facilitate information exchange, transactions and payments. Internet business has given birth to e-commerce which is more and more specific when compared to internet business or e-business. The term e-commerce encourages companies to sell their products or services through internet. To be more precise about internet business; it is simply performing business using internet for worldwide audience in order to globalize business.

Advantages of Internet Business – Internet Business has its unique advantages

There is no need of physical location and hence you don’t need to have your own or rent place for starting up business as how traditional business requires.

Of course you need location that is DOMAIN NAME for website registration and its very cheap you can get for about $5 to $25 with free web hosting service.

You need website for selling your product or service. If you know programming and designing you can always do it on your own or you can hire a web developer and/or designer based on your requirement or even you can become an affiliate of some site which needs no website since your merchant will provide you website.

You can advertise your products or services for free in most of the websites say free classified advertisement site.

Since internet works on the principle of 24×7 you can reach your customer at any time.

Internet business is not geographic specific and hence you can reach global audience.

Disadvantages of Internet Business -Of course, internet has major advantages but it has some disadvantages too.

Through internet it is very difficult for the user to recognize what is genuine and what is not because users will not have the ‘Touch and feel’ of some product before they buy.

Internet makes you feel isolate and hence it separates manufacturer and customer, and this ultimately end-up in lack of trust between two parties.

It is also difficult for the user to choose the product as there may be many products with different varieties advertise through internet.

Business Models:

Every Business needs model to run its business and operations. When it comes to internet it is not that companies have design or built their own models Most of the companies sustain with the following business models through internet.

Products

Professional Services

Information Business

Internet profession

E-Publishing

E-Advertising

Let’s understand the above six proven internet business model.

Products: This Internet business model includes stuffs like electronic goods, books, computer hardware and software, household, jewelry, etc. Companies may already use direct marketing to market its product.

Adopting this model is most inexpensive method to communicate universally, and consumers can look into the product through company’s website or online catalogue as it cost only the fraction of what printed catalogue cost and the duplication is achieved virtually. The vital part is to note that internet is not the business strategy. However, it helps business to formulate strategy more effectively and efficiently. These are none other than the Internet or Online retailer.

Professional/Specialized Services: This model includes Professional services such as accountants, consultants, architects etc. The use of technology has encouraged service business to devise innovative strategies to support the very nature of the business.

Service industry advertise its services electronically that is through internet and since internet reaches global audience by breaking the geographic barriers and hence today service sectors enjoy massive profit and growth since internet has out-performed the traditional advertising and it directly reaches its prospective audience.

Information business: This E-business model is for those who gather, create and sell knowledge. Internet has given a new room for this kind of business. Today people use internet for many reasons and information search through internet ranks top. Many netpreneur today adopted this business methodology and has created a success because there is lot of scope for business in this digital era and information business is one such businesses which grows with a full pace.

Internet Careers: Many people have started making careers in internet itself. This business model includes graphic artist, web designers and developers, software programmers, computer and software trainers through online, Internet marketing professionals etc. This is considered as fastest growing business and many people have started business model.

Electronic Publishing: Today people can find free news, magazines, and newsletters in the digital format. In this business model any factual written material can be published in digital format and uploaded in the website. Online or Electronic publishing is exploding since its too cost effective when compared to the printed version of newspapers, magazines, newsletters etc. There are many innovative ways that a company can generate revenue from this business model.

E-Advertising: Electronic advertising, the business model which grows constantly and is expected to out-perform the traditional advertising methods. From this business model companies can simply sell advertising space on the web which in turn generates a mutual understanding to both the parties (advertisers and publishers).

Advertisers get revenue by posting advertisement in their website and publishers gets traffic to his website and/or brand awareness of his (publishers) product through advertisement. This is really a big business and one can monetize his/her website (if available) by just selling the website space.

The above mentioned internet business model has been adopted by many companies and have created a history in this digital era. Thus internet has become the right source and a powerful tool for the businesses to create a new and innovative business strategy in order to sustain the market.

Different authors have defined Internet business models in a different manner but the actual proposition and meaning is same. To see the different internet business model terms have a look at this article. Read Here

As a Wannabe internet business you have to analyze which internet business model is best for you or where you actually fit in the whole scenario.

What Can A Small Business Marketing Consultant Do To Help You Grow Your Business?

Think back to the time you started your business. Chances are it was because you enjoyed being in a particular industry – you had a passion about your product or service, and wanted to share it with the world. But did you ever stop and say to yourself, “I can’t wait to market this business”? Probably not. That unfortunately is why many of today’s small businesses fail. The owners try everything they can think of to save their business, yet they miss out on the one opportunity that can turn their business into true success: hiring a small business marketing consultant.

A small business marketing consultant specializes in learning the top ways to market a business; creates strategies that will help businesses double, even triple their current profits; and teaches the most effective methods for increasing the bottom line of any business.

In today’s business world, there are two types of small business marketing consultants:

* Traditional small business marketing consultants

* Online small business marketing consultants

A traditional small business marketing consultant can help you create a marketing strategy using traditional tools. They understand how to advertise your business. They understand the importance of branding. They can help you write copy, and create dynamic promotional pieces. In short, they understand how to marketing your business well in the traditional environment.

But if someone has been in the marketing field for a number of years, and understands traditional marketing venues well, what they may not be good at is making the transition to the online world. And there is a world of difference between traditional and online marketing.

An online small business marketing consultant understands the same strategies used in traditional marketing. They understand advertising. They understand branding. They understand the importance for creating dynamic promotional pieces. But from there is where the differences begin.

An online small business marketing consultant realizes that you sell differently online than you do off. It takes different strategies, different copy, and different promotional materials to succeed online. Not only should a consultant provide you with traditional methods, but they should make sure these methods feed the online world as well.

For example, a postcard sent out direct mail has always been a successful tool. But if you send out that postcard asking for the reader to take one action step – heading to a website to sign up for a free report – you success rate for that postcard will improve dramatically.

While this technique may seem simple, there are many techniques just like this that can bridge the traditional and online world together, and make your business stronger and more profitable. It’s all in what you know – and whom you ask to help make it a possibility.

Copyright 2006 Vision Business Concepts Inc

Start a Cleaning Business – Overview of the Industry

While the cleaning industry may not be a glamorous line of work to be in, it can however be very rewarding for those who are prepared to work hard, manage employees and to scale up into a decent sized operation.

Many segments of the cleaning business appear to be recession proof, particularly commercial cleaning, making it an attractive business to enter no matter what the economic climate is like.

The cleaning industry in the United States is huge. Approximately 10% of American households use a cleaner or maid service at least once or twice a week. Window cleaning, carpet cleaning and other niche cleaning areas make the residential market the largest segment of the overall industry. The cleaning of commercial buildings and office space is the other huge segment of the market, making up around one third of the total market size. Like other service industries, the cleaning industry has had amazing growth over the past few decades, and this growth should continue well into the future.

As cleaning is a service-orientated business, market participants put a strong emphasis on good customer services. For many small cleaning companies, particularly in the residential sector, the main method of attracting new clients is through referrals or word of mouth marketing. Even the smallest cleaning businesses usually also do some kind of advertising and medium and large sized operations usually have advanced marketing strategies.

Entry barriers to the business are minimal as start-up costs are low and most cleaning related tasks can be performed with little or no qualifications or experience. Experience, however does go a long way towards ensuring that cleaning is done properly and efficiently.

While cleaning business operators are required to have a business license, many small businesses and sole operators in the residential sector of the market operate without them.

Some entrepreneurs take the franchising route into the business and there are many different franchise opportunities in the industry. Franchising in the cleaning business is not as strong as it is in its other industries though and as new players can get started cleaning relatively easily without requiring turnkey solutions and expert advice.

Mastering cleaning is the easiest part of the cleaning business but entrepreneurs wanting to start their own cleaning businesses also have to do their market research and learn about insurance, pricing and agreements, marketing and sales, small business management and hiring staff.

Due to the sheer size of the cleaning industry in the US it is almost certain that you can achieve some level of success if you put your mind to it and work hard to grow your business.

Small Business Marketing FAQs

What is a small business? The government has introduced certain criteria including the number of employees, annual receipts, affiliates and other applicable factors to identify a small business. It can be quickly determined by using SBA’s NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Lookup. Enter the business description; NAICS will locate the business type in the resulting table.

What is marketing? Marketing refers to the commercial processes involved in promoting, selling and distributing a product or service.

What does marketing involve? Marketing is an organizing tool. The four basic aspects of marketing include the four Ps such as product, price, promote and provide. It involves market research, formulating strategy and selling based on two important principles. The first principle states that all company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs. The second is that profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume.

What is marketing strategy? Marketing strategy is the summary of the marketing goals. It is the formulation of the methods used to achieve the marketing objective.

What are the major constraints for small business marketing? The major constraints for small business marketing include budget limitations, lack of adequate resources and tough competition.

What are the important collateral marketing materials? Collateral marketing materials consist of printed marketing materials. They include brochures, business cards and news letters.

What is the importance of advertising in small business marketing? Advertising plays an important role in small business marketing. It helps to influence people with attractive marketing materials such as banners, sign boards, magazine and directory ads as well as trade booth displays.