Bricklin: "Small Business and Web Sites"
Tue, 9 Oct 2001 12:54:58 -0700
"Small Business and Web Sites"
by Dan Bricklin
Many people have been asserting that all small businesses should and will
become eBusinesses, doing most of their selling, communicating, and
computing using the Internet. They see an enormous, almost untapped market
bursting forth right now. Others don't see broad adoption of the Internet by
small businesses, or view the "notoriously fragmented" nature of this market
and reluctance to spend, as reasons why there's no money to be made here. I
believe that both of these views are mistaken. A large percentage of small
businesses are clearly willing and able to spend large sums of money to use
the Internet as part of their relationships with customers (and will benefit
from such use), but only for appropriate purposes, such as a basic
informational web site. For most, "being like Amazon", online catalogs with
credit card transactions, reengineering their backroom processes, and
keeping vast interactive databases about customer visits and preferences, is
not that purpose.
The article provides a good analysis of the characteristics of small
business, and how these typically imply that small businesses are not likely
to become eBusinesses. But, Web sites do provide an economical way to
advertise for small business.