It’s undeniable that the Internet has great effects on the world. It has effectively removed communication barriers with the presence of real-time chats and calls and even video conferencing (which was simply a piece of science fiction in the 70s). But one industry that unexpectedly benefited from the Internet is the small business industry. It’s even rather interesting to continuously call it “small business” as many small to medium enterprises eventually end up becoming big. Below are some more ideas on how the Internet helped small businesses and it’s changing the world.
Small Businesses of Today Are the Major Enterprises of Tomorrow
Facebook, Google, even YouTube all started as small projects by a group of friends. They then went on to become the most influential tech companies of their generation. And they all started as small businesses. The common thread among these now-giants is that they all started with a core group of people and next to no capital- although they eventually receive one once interest grows.
Of course, being the pioneers in their industry helped a lot, but along with it, they proved that the direction of the business is online. They also proved that even those starting as a small business can maneuver their way to the primary position if they know how to navigate the Internet well.
Even modern companies that began their life within the last ten years find themselves growing rapidly — through these very platforms, nonetheless. So it’s interesting to see how it has come a full circle: the struggling startups become the standard-bearers today, giving opportunities to newer startups.
Access to Almost Everything in an Active Market
The Internet allows for seamless access to almost anything and everything one could ever need. What this means for business providers is that they can offer products and services even to the most niche of consumers. Even access to supplies and raw materials is considerably easier to get because of this.
Along with access to almost everything comes a highly active online market. A quick visit to your local Facebook marketplace or eBay (or even Craigslist) will yield a wealth of results. And nowadays, there are dedicated selling platforms for all kinds of products. Online transactions are now taking a larger part of the global retail sales- up to 22% of all the sales made in the world are online. The e-commerce economy amounts to almost 4.3 trillion dollars. The figures show that small businesses have indeed benefited from the Internet.
Products Are Constantly Improved and Developed
Competitive products don’t just offer economic gain to their sellers. They also offer something to the consumers, of course, besides its inherent usefulness. What they offer is a benchmark. Much like the small enterprises today end up becoming major businesses in the future, today’s popular products lay the foundation for tomorrow’s better and improved products.
As consumers pay their interest, attention, and money to newly emerging services or products, it grows further and spawns copies and parallels. Which then forces businesses to compete either through price competency or product improvements. Look at the smartphone industry: due to it being able to seamlessly access the Internet, it has developed into the booming industry that it is now. As a result, companies and products that start their life as minuscule startups can evolve, making entering the small business industry even more incentivized.
The Internet Empowers Small Businesses of All Kinds
Before the Internet, establishing a business was more difficult. You need to have a physical location, and you need to know who to speak with to get supplies. Simply put, there’s a lot of hurdles for small business owners. But not in this era, and this is among the biggest changes that have happened.
Ultimately, the Internet has brought a whole new economic era. One that provides an opportunity to businesses of various sizes, owner’s backgrounds, and products or services. Nowadays, almost anyone with a business idea and the capital and skills to see it through can use the Internet to boost them.
For example, stay-at-home parents selling handcrafted trinkets can sell their wares online. Even a service-disabled veteran-owned small business can now utilize platforms and media not normally available to small businesses. Finally, somebody in their late teens can start their own small enterprise. The possibilities are endless, which is all thanks to the wide and various platforms the Internet offers.
The points raised here are but a smaller part of the big picture. Every day, people of different backgrounds use the Internet to help their businesses. Moreover, they utilize the Internet and their business in such creative ways that we’re left to see what innovations will appear next.