In the past 5 years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the American media from print to online programming. With print ad sales shrinking dramatically in the last decade, the internet has seen a surge of new marketing money from all sectors of the economy. For example, in 1996, real estate agents, brokers and developers spent $755 on newspaper advertising for every home sold. This year, they are spending $605 per home. For the same period, online ad spending per home went from $14 to $148.
A virtual ad or website can exponentially increase your business's sales while offering a global audience. There is no limit to the amount of exposure your products or services could receive. With companies like Google and Yahoo leading the way in search engine advertising and other cutting-edge strategies, even the smallest business can reach a worldwide audience with little overhead.
For a small business looking to expand, creating a web presence, or upgrading the features of an existing site, can have a major effect on revenues. It's easy to find a turn-key internet commerce (or e-commerce) package. There are low-cost website packages designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses, such as handling online payments. KEEPING THE COST DOWN
The internet has, without question, changed the way business is done, virtually eliminating deterrents to starting your own business. The internet acts as the great equalizer. "There are no barriers to entry anymore," says Marc Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation. Virtual offices and internet marketing are some examples of how the internet has slashed costs for small businesses and made it incredibly easy for anyone with a great idea to enter any market and bring their products or services to the public.
According to a recent study conducted by the Small Business Administration, the emergence of the internet has enhanced opportunity for small business owners in every market, especially for specialized, or niche, markets. The costs of starting a business online are lower than ever, making it easy for many people to start a business, with little start-up capital. Also, with the infinite amount of information available on the internet, consumers have more choices than ever, making a web presence indispensable.
Despite the internet goldmine that business owners have discovered, not all barriers have been eliminated. Marketing costs continue to rise and it's increasingly challenging for any business owner to keep up with rapidly evolving technology. The internet also increases the importance of branding. By allowing smaller businesses to wage worldwide competition with larger businesses, branding, or the personality you give your products or services, has never been more important. However, these barriers are small indeed compared to the barriers overcome by the emergence of the online business.
Small Business Owner