web presenceSmall business owners are among the group in the community that are slow to adapt web technologies to pursue new market, enhance branding, and serve customers.

I have just stumble on a news piece on USnews.com reporting that, although everyone seems to have some sort of web presence, small business owners are notoriously slow to adapt web technologies – A report by small-business advisory service Warrillow & Co shows that, according to 2008 survey, only 41 percent small business owners have websites.

Let alone entering the Web 2.0 of blogging and social networking, small business owners are still delaying their decision to enter the Web 1.0 of establishing company website to enhance branding and reaching prospects.

Of those 41 percent, only a handful of small business owners who are confident that blogging and social networking can drum-up their business branding and building a community of loyal supporters and customers. Two of the reasons that the skeptical business owners have are lack of credibility and integrity, like what Justin Kenagy, an Atlanta-based co-founder of Onyx Consulting, a computer services firm with 15 employees, says in the news above, “I associated [blogs] with pretentiousness and blowhards.”

Why you should have web presence

Firstly, a website – why you should have a website? One simple answer to sum it all: To increase your business competitiveness.

Secondly, a blog and social networking profiles – Creating a blog can help you significantly in reach and personalisation, while creating accounts with the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook can help you build communities surrounding your business.

Those who have adapted web technologies the right way are getting more exposure in their branding, more buzz, more prospects and new market. For those who have adapted blogging and social networking into their business strategy, Web 2.0 helps in forming a group of enthusiasts and evangelists that know and trust your products and/or services.

How to have the right web presence

I would like to offer you some tips to help you decide the kind of web presence you need for your business:

  • A website is a must – A well-designed and useful website can enhance your business image and marketing campaign considerably.
  • Create a blog, or at least hire someone to create it and take you by hands to guide you into blogging.
  • Use social networking to manage your business reputation, because, like it or not, you can have a bad reputation online, even if you don’t have any web presences.
  • Presenting the right marketing materials online can make your marketing campaign go viral – Buzzes and opinions about your business can be stirred with strong, and often controversial, marketing materials – All with no additional cost.
  • Don’t be excessive – Not all web technologies are created equal – Only use those that add value to your business.

Ivan Widjaya
Web presence is key
Image by dalbera.