What Can A Small Business Do With eBusiness?

Doing business online can mean many things depending on what your needs & goals are. For example, a small business may consider making use of eBusiness either to provide a new channel for reaching out to local customers, expand your sales and customer base outside of your local area with eCommerce and online marketing, do away with a physical location and operate entirely online, or use eBusiness tools to improve your IT infrastructure and back-end operations.

Serve Local Customers
To better serve local customers through eBusiness, a likely path is to setup a business email account, launch a basic website, and take part in social media. Email is an excellent way for customers to be able to reach you when your business is closed or if they are unable to call or visit you. Your website can be set up to offer a source of business information for your customers that is just a mouse click away, providing news, product listings, directions to your physical location, and contact information, for example. Social media is an excellent way for your business to conduct more personable communications with customers, provide an environment for them to interact with each other, and serve as an additional channel for you to offer promotions or updates on your business.

Grow Your Small Business Online
The global capability of doing business online can be taken advantage of by your business to grow from a small local presence to an international one, all while staying within your current physical location. It can turn your small business into something much bigger, but in most cases won't require you to expand your staffing or operations significantly, unlike physical expansion would. Your website will play a major role, serving as the center of your online presence and will likely be setup with an eCommerce solution that allows for online purchasing. Your online marketing efforts will be more extensive and may involve banner ads, search engine ads, and multimedia promotions as you try to capture the online audience. In addition, communication tools such as email, and marketing tools such as social media will take on a significant role as it will likely become the primary means for your new global customers to connect with you.

Operate Entirely Online
eBusiness offers the potential to completely do away with a physical place of business and operate solely online. For a small business, if you find it too costly or ineffective to run a physical store and have a product or service that can be sold online, this can be a lucrative option. This path can allow you to reach local customers as well as global ones, and allow you to take advantage of the capabilities of eBusiness to showcase your business in more innovative ways than a physical location provides. eCommerce will serve as your primary sales channel, email and social media will keep you in contact with your customers, and your website will take the place of a physical store, with the added benefit of allowing customers to do business with you at any time of day, and from anywhere in the world.

Use Online Tools for Internal Improvements
If you do not want to use eBusiness as a marketing or sales tool (but it's recommended that you do) you can take advantage of online tools and technologies to improve the way your business is operated. A small business dealing with limited funds, time, or expertise often is unable to take advantage of technology to streamline operations, but eBusiness offers solutions. If your business requires a lot of travel, has out-of-town partners and suppliers, or you simply want to work away from the office, there are online tools that make this possible and very affordable as well. In addition, the popularization of cloud computing is making it possible for small businesses to access top-of-the line technologies and tools for anything from productivity software, to accounting systems to storage, backup, and so on simply through your web browser without all the added costs and hassle of maintaing an IT infrastructure yourself.