The Internet has become an indispensable communication tool. As demand for greater connectivity with greater bandwidth keeps rising networks more and more businesses are using the Internet to reach customers and clients via, corporate websites, emails, and social media platforms. Gone are the traditional ways companies, firms and corporations conducted business. With the advent of Internet, small businesses, firms, and corporations carry out their commerce or trade, albeit, on a global scale. The Internet has actually reduced the physicality in a lot of business processes, which were carried out manually in the past. For example, with the Internet it has become easier to find and recruit employees, and keep an eye on your competition. So, with the evolution of broadband technology, benefits of the Internet for businesses, large or small, are numerous, and they would be wise to implement them.
The World at a Click
With the Internet you have access to whatever you want to search for be it how to hem to hem your jeans to how to clean your car engine, visit websites for your case studies, research or other information that you may search online. And, if you’re a small business, you can find new vendors and customers without having to physically going out and finding them, which lowers costs. You can increase sales and enhance your relationship with both your vendor and customer on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and others.
Communication is No Longer the Same
A 100 years ago it took over a month for a letter to reach a friend in another country. With the Internet, communication is as easy as a mouse click, and much cheaper. Now you can text another employee, send him or her emails, and discuss strategies and issues on live video chats and conferences. These days, text messaging, emailing and live video chat is the norm, and is much cheaper providing higher efficiency and quicker processing of sales as far as businesses are concerned. For a business, this means higher efficiency, quicker sales and revenue.
No doubt, the biggest advantage the Internet brings to small businesses and large organizations is its cost effectiveness saving you time and money. You can open and maintain an online store at a fraction of a cost as opposed to opening and running a physical shop. Promoting your business online is far cheaper than traditional media with the advantage of allowing business owners to reach more targeted visitors. Also, there’s no expensive travel involved as a shop owner can browse and purchase goods for resale from suppliers around the globe without having to leave the comfort of his computer desk. Not only that, many business functions and processes have become automated reducing cost of labor. Processes like bookkeeping are now automated increasing efficiency saving you time and money, not to mention reduction in cost of labor as you need only one accomplished person to carry out the task.
Increased Global Presence
Because of the internet, businesses, large or small, can increase their visibility, revenue, and customer base online. Since there are no opening or closing hours as the internet is on 24/7, cost savings, networking opportunities, and benefits of selling online become apparent.
Increased Customer Base
In the days when there was no Internet, to start a business, you would place a few advertisements in the local newspaper to create a name for yourself in the locality. Now, with the Internet, you can create an online presence in an instant reaching out to customers wherever they are in the world with just a click. Your customers will be able to see your product or service on your website or your social media pages, and decide to purchase it or not. Marketing, sales, and revenue potential and opportunities are immense. Online retail behemoth Amazon is a great examples of this.
The Internet Never Sleeps
The Internet never sleeps. Since it’s on 24 hours a day, seven days a week there are no “opening hours” or “closing hours”. It’s great, for example, for items like ready-made products since they benefit most from this advantage. Like Amazon, mentioned in the previous point, if you have an online store you can maintain a virtual retail shop that’s open 24/7, making you money in your sleep in the literal sense.
Prior to the Internet, a business owner could only join a local chamber of commerce to network with fellow entrepreneurs. Now, chat rooms and forums have taken over that role making it easy and instantaneous. For instance, you can exchange notes on marketing and promotional techniques sitting in New York with someone in, say, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Maybe you’re a small trade business buying from the supplier and selling to a buyer for a commission. Again, the advantage of the Internet never sleeping comes into play. If your buyer wants, say, a consignment of lawn mowers, and you have a supplier who either supplies or manufactures them, you can buy from the supplier or manufacturer and sell the consignment toy our buyer. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re asleep as the deal was already made online via emails and online invoices. All you have to do is confirm the order when you wake up. Global wholesale trading portals like alibaba.com are a great example.
You can develop new business models allowing you to communicate more effectively with your suppliers, vendors, and customers alike. You can use the Internet to access information to improve your how you serve your customers or clients. You can improve efficiency and productivity, reduce costs and outsource for products or services that you don’t provide. For example, you can do that in business and IT support.