Net poses new challenge

SMALL business owners ignore the Internet at their peril, says Small Business Clinic managing director Fiona Anson.

Internet access in Australian households has jumped from 1.5 million to 2.3 million in the year to May and six per cent of Australian adults purchase or order goods online.

Ms Anson said online capabilities had to be incorporated into small and medium enterprise business plans.

“E-business is something we believe many operators are still reluctant to embrace, believing the benefits do not warrant the expense involved,” she said.

“The Internet is a powerful tool and can open opportunities for small business operators in markets not previously accessed.

“It is not enough for small business operators to rely on just setting up a site.

“We warn operators about using search engines as the sole directive to a website because it is very difficult for an Internet site to ‘get up the list’ on these.”

Ms Anson said a business’ Internet marketing plan should include individual promotion of the website, including web addresses on all correspondence and marketing materials.

She suggested using competitions, give-aways, online analyses, newsletters and email updates to help direct people to the site.

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