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Moving your business to cyberspace

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


WomanRed.jpgWith the ever-growing world of online communication, at some point or another you may decide to establish a presence on the Internet. It is however, important to first make the distinction between the Internet and the World Wide Web and whether or not having a presence in cyberspace will benefit your business.

Not many people realise that there is a difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet is a network of networks, a link of millions of computers worldwide, into one vast collection of information. The World Wide Web is a network of computers set up to exchange electronic files in a specific way; it's merely a part of the Internet.

Deciding whether or not to "move" your business to the Internet is entirely up to the business owner. The owner would need to decide what benefits such a move would mean to the company. Having a presence on the Internet could equip employees to use the Internet's capabilities as data storage and as a communications medium to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability of the business.

An investment in an Internet presence for your business should need a plan. This plan should be driven first by your most compelling reasons for being on the Internet, and ultimately by what you intend to achieve by making this move.

If your reasons behind establishing a presence on the Internet are any of these presented below, it may just be a good move:

  •  To establish a web presence
  •  To network more effectively
  •  To make business information more readily available
  •  To serve your customers better
  •  To heighten public interest in your business
  •  To release time-sensitive material more effectively
  •  To sell more of your products
  •  To make pictures, sound and film files easily available
  •  To reach a highly desirable demographic market more effectively
  •  To address Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in time
  •  To stay in better contact with salespeople
  • To open international markets more easily
  •  To create a 24 hour service
  •  To make changing information quickly available
  •  To allow quick feedback from customers
  •  To test market new services and products
  •  To reach media more easily
  •  To reach the education and youth market more easily
  •  To reach a specialised market more effectively
  •  To serve the local market better

More and more businesses are realising the value of an online footprint. These points will help you as an entrepreneur to determine whether it will truly benefit the business or if the converse might be the outcome. If you do decide to go this route, get some professional advice and get it done properly.

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