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IN FOCUS gEtting your BusinEss onlinE By KElly MEEnEgHan tstill do not have a professional photos.comhough it may seem like commonsense, the fact is, nearly 20 percent ofsmall- to medium-sized businesses website, according to recent research from Ad-ology Research. With the immense benefits of increased reach, accessibility, convenience and credibility, it seems sabotaging to miss this golden opportunity. Concerned of this finding, 1&1 Internet (www.1and1.com) conducted research to determine the excuses businesses use for not making the move online. initial, proposed version as guidance to customize and enhance What the company found was that the four most common the site. When utilizing these DIY tools, changes and edits excuses were myths. Among these misconceptions was the need can often be made anytime and anywhere, granted you have of a large time commitment, the thought that it was unnecessary internet access. for the particular business, the process was too complicated, and it was an extreme monetary investment. What may seem to be an “i don’t need a website intimidating strategy, especially to those owners unfamiliar with for my business” 21% coding and Web design, creating and managing an online presence Creating a website for your business provides you with countless does not need to be so daunting. opportunities to not only generate sales and profits, but better The easiest and perhaps the most destructive statement that any communicate your brand with your business community. business owner can say is “I can’t” or “no.” By using such negative According to Sandy Carter, VP of Websphere Marketing, Strategy, language, they close themselves off to the range of possibilities that can and Channels for IBM there are 75 million Internet users in the the easiest and perhaps the most destructive statement that any business owner can say is “i can’t” or “no.” help drive sales and traffic to their business. In fact, 1&1 identified the US that are online shoppers. This overwhelming majority is four of the top excuses that business owners use to talk themselves out purchasing everything from books and computers to real estate of implementing the most effective business tactic – an online strategy. and jet airplanes. Creating a professional website for your business puts you in direct contact with those 75 million and growing. “i don’t have enough time” 36% Once a website is created, think of that space as a marketing If there is time to check your email, there time to create and platform. A place for consumers to see your products or better manage a professional website. Though some website design understand the services offered which will help gain a competitive solutions may require significant time dedication, not all are so. advantage. Developing a professional representation on the Web Many Web hosting companies are seeing the need for more time not only enhances the business’s availability but also builds efficient and straightforward tools and have developed do-it- credibility to the brand and transparency with customers. yourself (DIY) solutions. In fact, most options are designed to cater to business owners that have never ventured on the Web. “it’s too complicated With predetermined industry text and templates, launching an to create a website” 15% online presence can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. For most business owners and franchisees, terms like bandwidth, Of course, it is suggested that business owners use the databases and coding are quite foreign. This unfamiliarity is 16Opportunity World • March/April 2013 www.OpportunityWorld.com


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