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Does my Local Business need the Internet ?

By Mark Munday

The value of the internet to businesses with a global market is now well established. Being online means that you can deal with customers in different geographic locations. But how important is it for businesses with local target markets to have an internet presence?

In the past, the internet has been used to do business remotely. Businesses deal with clients over vast distances, using e-commerce technology that makes geographical location irrelevant. This means that these businesses have access to enormous markets and customers have buying choices they never had before.

Finding Products and Services

Using the internet to find products or services is very easy. All the information you need is only the touch of a button away. Finding this information is certainly a lot easier than scouring shopping malls, combing through the yellow pages or speaking to numerous people who may have made similar purchases.

Convenience is of paramount importance in the fast-paced society we live in. Online shopping through supermarket websites is already well established. And it is only a matter of time before consumers demand the convenience of the internet to support all their local buying decisions.

There are three compelling reasons why you need to harness the internet as a marketing tool in your local business.

  • Consumers spend about 80% of their disposable income within 30 Kilometres of where they live.
  • 70% to 80% of households have an internet connection.
  • The internet is rapidly becoming the preferred source of information.

Local Spending Patterns

The reality is that consumers spend most of their money close to home. The population is well educated and it is becoming increasingly dependent on the internet for information. General use of the internet to support local buying decisions seems almost inevitable.

When I am looking for information, the first thing I do is search the web. I usually find what I need, easily, at no cost and in the comfort of my home. Unfortunately, if I need information on local businesses, I won't find much on the internet at this stage. If I need to contact a restaurant, hairdresser, plumber, panel beater or any other local business, I have to scrounge for information.

That will change very soon. In the near future, when people move into a new area, they will search the internet to find out about the most convenient local businesses. They will also examine the websites of these local businesses to help them decide on which ones they should use.

All this means that not having a website will make you almost invisible to a rapidly growing portion of your target market. And having a good website will give your local business a powerful competitive advantage.

The bottom line is, if you want your local business to survive in the long-term you are going to have to "get online". You will have to learn how to harness the power of the internet or risk losing your market share to competitors in your area who have a web presence.

The Strategic Plan Wizard.

As a Business Strategist and Coach, Mark Munday works with business owners to help them achieve their business goals. His powerful strategic planning and implementation techniques produce stunning results for clients.

Mark has just released a unique and revolutionary system for building your business into what you really want it to become.

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