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Web Global Net Web Application & Web Development Project Center  |  Web Site Planning Related  |  Web Site Planning Questions  |  Topic: Small Biz Benefit from internet more than they think.. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Small Biz Benefit from internet more than they think..  (Read 7344 times)
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« on: February 26, 2005, 12:40: PM »

Robyn Greenspan
03/28/2002

This article can be found online at the following location:
http://www.clickz.com/stats/sectors/small_enterprises/article.php/1000171

The Internet has been instrumental in helping small businesses to
operate, while also contributing to their individual success, according
to a pair of surveys.

Of the 501 small business owners/managers with less than than 100
employees that were surveyed for the OPEN Small Business Network
2002 Monitor from American Express, 66 percent revealed that they
have integrated the Internet as a tool to help them run their
businesses.

Other common online business activities include:

* Making travel plans/purchasing office supplies, equipment or other
business services (tied at 36 percent)

* Conducting industry or market research (34 percent)

* Marketing or advertising (29 percent)

* Networking with other entrepreneurs (24 percent)

* Purchasing goods from wholesalers (22 percent)

* Managing accounts and making payments (16 percent)

"Many small businesses are embracing technology, particularly the
Internet, which can be a convenient tool for small business owners.
Using the Internet specifically for business functions provides them
with the 24-7 access and flexibility they need to better manage their
businesses," said Kerry Hatch, executive vice president and general
manager, OPEN: The Small Business Network from American Express.

Among those who do not use the Internet for their small businesses, 39
percent said they prefer dealing with people face-to-face. This
sentiment was felt most strongly in the South compared to other regions
of the country. Eighteen percent of those that do not incorporate the
Web into their business activities felt that searching the Internet was
too time consuming.

Internet usage positively impacts the bottom line for 61 percent of
those that responded to a survey conducted by Lewis, Mobilio &
Associates for Homestead
Technologies, Inc. Of the 976 full or part owners of U.S. small
businesses with 20 or fewer employees that were polled, 58 percent said
their Web site has played an important role in the success of their
small business.

Additionally, 77 percent agree that a Web site is a "must have" for
small business in 2002; 60 percent said they wish they had built a Web
site for their business sooner; and 85 percent would also advise other
small business owners to have a Web site in 2002.

"Small business owners are embracing the Internet and clearly see the
value in having a Web site," said Lynne Mobilio, partner of Lewis,
Mobilio & Associates.

The survey also revealed:

* 86 percent of small business owners felt optimistic about the future
of their small business and only 9 percent feel that they will do worse
in 2002.

* 67 percent of respondents extended their rosy outlook to the U.S.
economy, feeling that improvement is on the horizon, but only 23 percent
thought the economic situation would noticeably improve for the country
as a whole by June.

* 39 percent of those surveyed planned to market their business
on the Internet or Web in 2002, with 51 percent viewing the Internet as
more cost-effective than other marketing methods, and 29 percent that
the Internet is the most cost-effective method. Considerably fewer
respondents believe that direct mail, newspapers or magazines or yellow
pages advertising are the most cost-effective marketing plans.

"In addition to adding to the bottom line, survey respondents cited
easier communication with customers, name recognition and credibility as
the main benefits of a site. These advantages explain why the Internet
is the most popular choice for marketing among small businesses for next
year," said Mobilio.

While technology can help small businesses to succeed, it can also be
detrimental to unprepared small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that rely
heavily on it. Gartner Inc.
approximates that two out of five enterprises that experience a disaster
will go out of business within five years of the event, estimating that
only 35 percent of SMBs have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in
place and fewer than 10 percent of SMBs have crisis management,
contingency, business recovery and business resumption plans.

"Many SMBs don't believe they will ever be affected by a disaster the
magnitude of what happened on September 11. But the reality is that it's
the hundreds of comparatively minor vulnerabilities, such as an e-mail
virus or a sustained power outage, that pose the biggest threat to
derailing normal operations because of their greater likelihood of
occurring," said Jim Browning, vice president and research director for
Gartner.

Gartner research shows 80 percent of mission-critical application
service downtime is directly caused by people or processes failures. The
other 20 percent is caused by technology failure, environmental failure
or a disaster.
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