The World Wide Web has tremendous ability to bring in additional sales or cost savings for all kinds of commercial enterprises. Many studies have highlighted the enormous advantages of using web based technology and resources to build a brand, attract more customers and generate more leads. So, if a business doesn’t use the internet at all, or only uses it for basic functions like emailing suppliers and customers, then they are likely to be missing out.
Before you start to panic if this is you, rest assured you are definitely not the only one without an optimal digital strategy. A survey conducted by Impact Research on 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders earlier this year revealed that 45 per cent of small businesses have yet to invest in a website, even though they believe having one would lift their revenue.
Dealing with Set up Costs
Given the potential to increase profits, one wonders why so many SME owners have not made the internet an integral part of their small business. One possible explanation is cost. Small businesses often face finance gaps which are commonly filled with cash loans. With no working capital to rely upon, it can be difficult for these companies to get appropriate funding to grow their business.
Despite government pledges to help SMEs, many owners find it difficult to get cash loans from high street banks. Cash loans solutions from providers like Wonga could be an alternative, especially if the business only needs to borrow for a short term.
Driving More Sales
The most commonly cited advantage of having an internet presence is increased sales. In essence, the internet allows smaller businesses to compete with bigger corporations, since it provides more visibility and greater reach to customers all over the world. With a global audience comes growing opportunities to make sales. Additionally, the internet never sleeps, so having an internet presence is like having a shop that never closes.
Selling online is also much cheaper than operating from a physical shop, while marketing your business digitally can cost a lot less too. Other cost savings include being able to compare prices from suppliers globally without leaving your desk, meaning you can source the cheapest stock that meet your quality requirements at a click of a button.
Increasing Your Knowledge
The internet can benefit your small business in less direct ways as well. For example, there are many chat rooms and forums open to entrepreneurs all over the world, which enables you to connect to a community of like-minded individuals for support and learning.
Making Processes More Efficient
Cloud-based tools have made processes more efficient too. Cloud-based social network allows instant knowledge sharing for employees, making the toing and froing of emails a thing of the past.
Google Drive on the other hand, gives everyone the ability to access and edit shared documents anytime without fuss.
Finally, cloud technology also allows your businesses processes to share information with one another. For instance, your cloud accounting tool can share data with your invoice processes, purchase orders and so forth, eliminating the need for manual data input.