It’s no secret that technology has had a major impact on businesses of all sizes. What started as a technological revolution in the 90s has blossomed into a world-changing cultural movement that’s reinvented everything we know about business operations.
Not only is it much easier to start (and scale) a small business nowadays, but it’s also easier to bring a struggling business back up to par. The internet has truly been a saving grace for countless small businesses, many of which would have surely failed without the web driving their renewed growth.
With all of that being said, how has technology specifically enabled businesses to thrive in this digital economy? What about businesses that aren’t inherently digital? Have they been positively impacted by the development of web technologies? Below we cover the answers to all of these questions (and more).
The Internet and Real-World Businesses: Convergence in the 21st Century
One of the most interesting aspects regarding the development of the digital economy is how it’s impacted the growth of most real-world businesses. That is, businesses that don’t operate entirely online or have no real reason to have anything more than a basic web presence.
One of the best examples of this would be a local construction company. Think about some of your area’s local construction companies. Chances are they don’t have much in the way of a digital presence. Maybe a website, perhaps some social channels, that’s about it.
They’re most likely not producing 100 pieces of content per week, or otherwise focusing on digital business at all. Why? Because they operate in the real world. They don’t have the time, nor experience, to actually product digital content.
Insurance and the Internet
However, the interesting part comes in here: these kinds of businesses have directly benefited from the internet in countless ways. A good example of this would be business insurance. Going with our construction company example, nowadays all a company needs to do is search for construction insurance cost in Google, and they will be able to identify a provider that can offer them a good deal on insurance.
Compare this with what would have needed to happen in the past. Flipping through the yellow pages, calling countless offices, getting the run-around from numerous sales agents, only to end up with a sub-par insurance policy that barely covers their operations. This is just one example of how revolutionizing the internet has been for productivity and actual operational management.
Marketing is Way Easier Now. Why? Thank the Internet
Back before the internet was a thing that lived in nearly every single person’s pocket (via smartphones), businesses needed to spend tens of thousands of dollars to run an effective ad campaign. TV ads, phonebooks, etc. were all used by businesses to try and develop leads and build new relationships.
However, ever since the introduction of Google back in the early 2000s, businesses have had some of the most promising returns in the history of advertising. No longer was it necessary to spend tens of thousands to get your ad in front of a minimal audience.
No, now you could actually create compelling creative and have your ad displayed exactly to who you wanted it displayed to. What did this do for businesses? For those that took advantage of this moment, it was huge. PPC advertising is worth billions upon billions of dollars, and has turned average businesses into multimillion-dollar enterprises.
Social Media: The Wave of the Future
Most small businesses are starting to catch on to the fact that social media isn’t just here to stay, but it’s here to dominate and change the way we communicate. If your business hasn’t been posting on social media, you’ve 100% been losing business to your competitors.
Social media is interesting, mainly because it’s very fluid. Platforms are always changing. Algorithms are changing. This can all be very complicated for small businesses to navigate. However, operating a business in this current digital economy comes with the requirement of learning how to effectively communicate on these platforms.
The digital age of business has begun, and you’re either going to adapt and see your business rise to new levels, or stagnate and watch your business fail. The choice is yours – we recommend choosing to adapt to the internet, the benefits far outweigh the cons (especially for smaller businesses that are looking to grow).