It is impossible to do any piece on IT without mentioning or focusing on the internet, especially since the emergence of web 2.0 technologies. Common sense dictates that for any business to survive, it has to be able to present its products to the public, inparticular its intended market segment. Therefore it is safe to conclude that the companies that will be most profitable, are those that can reach the customers the most through advertising/marketing.
Technology has changed and reshaped advertising even in the developing world whereby the consumers can be reached through more avenues than leaflets, sign board advertising and so on. Today, with the dominance of the internet in everyday living, businesses cannot afford to ignore the internet market as a crucial avenue to flog their goods. The reality is that small business need to embrace technology if they are to survive.
Advertising through the internet saves cost and does not necessarily need to have an office space immediately. Therefore small companies that wants to survive need a website of its own. And indeed technology has so advanced that anyone can now create their own web page through do it yourself software e.g windows web publishing tools etc or buy your own NICHE WEBSITE.
E-business allows allows the product to be available to millions of customers at the same time and across many continents. For instance, the UK net shopping soared more than 50% in 2007 to a record of 46.6 billion pounds sterling. Online processing of orders, payment and indeed tracking of their orders is now also very possible through the internet. This will give the customer peace of mind in knowing exactly the status of their order without any human intervention. If delivery is also included, the customer does not have to leave his home to transact business.
There are readily available softwares that allow the automation of tasks and processes such as customer relationship management (CRM), Enterprise resource planning (ERP), Human resource management (HRM), Capacity planning, Risk management tools, etc. These softwares provide solutions/strategies to hitherto numerous tasks that can slow down and at times cripple the companys progress.
Consumer and Profiling
By setting up a system to understand, anticipate, and manage customers wants and needs, businesses can improve profits and revenues, as well as access to clients.
In Europe, America and the far East, businesses now use it systems to collect and Analyse the shopping behaviour and traffic flows of customers through shops. This information is then used to ascertain how to improve layout or placement of promotional displays thus reshaping their merchandising approaches and enabling them make more sales. A beginer with access to similar information will no doubt leave its competitors trailing and indeed capture the market. Recommendation engines are now a popular tool on websites. They help correlate the purchase histories of every customer with those of others who made similar purchases to come up with suggestions for things that he or she might buy. The customer ends up spending more. Another invaluable tool for new business which will make a difference in sales revenue.
IT and customer data
To have an advantage over competitors, beginers that can adequately collect, store and utilise customer data will be better placed to tailor its product to meet the specific demand and thus become profitable. The more a company knows about specific need of its customer, the better able it is to create offerings they want, to target them with messages that get a response, and to extract the value that an offering gives them.
Information is wealth and how you use it is a different story entirely. A beginer will not loose by collecting and storing data because reselling or granting access to data collected to other business that may need it thus generating addition income Letting others be the innovator of the products
For instance, set up a chat room or discussion pages that will enable the customers, suppliers, small specialist businesses, and independent contractors to decide what they want, need and how the product should be created and presented is a way of the future. This will put the beginer ahead of its competitors
Out sourcing expertise via the web
It is better for a beginer to outsource those aspects of the business that they do not have expertise in. The internet enables access to a wealth of talent and there is always a better way to do things. Trying to do it all on your own is no longer an option today. A beginer that takes this into consideration and plans for this indeed will go a long way
Multi functionalism of the enterprise
Although it is wise, to focus on a key product or service and be known for that, with the advent of IT, beginers can provide for more than one segment and purpose. For instance a product that serves more than one purpose.
Pros of open standard architecture in system
These days most software subscribe to an open standard. Having a database of information that any web server can plug into will make it easier for the business to reach a better market and offer its product more. The clients just have to 'plug in' upgrading will also be easier as well.
Benefits of e-business bodies and associations
Belonging to bodies or associations with similar objectives opens avenues to opportunities, people and system networking and information. A beginer business can share data, network and system resources