It was February 1995, sales budget time in my previous employment. The president of my former employer asked his financial advisor if it was a good idea that all employees would have their own PC. One week later, his advisor came to see the president. The advisor recommended to the president that providing 1 PC to every 2 employee is the most appropriate. The president was not happy about his proposal. He told advisor that we call the device PERSONAL computer, because each PERSON has his own. 1 month later, the company decided to give 1 PC to each employee. This president had his vision how people would work in next 5 – 10 years.
PC was a gadget of technology people 15 years ago. Ordinary people did not use it if not forced to use it for business requirement. Internet and Websites were for computer geeks who were in early stage of Internet Business or large companies with deep pocket.
Almost everybody has Personal Computer, today. Everybody has a connection to Internet no matter where he happened to be. PC became the PERSONAL computer in its real meaning. As it evolves, it has changed use and user profiles. Students communicate with their teachers via emails. My wife’s niece, who is originally from China, has a membership in 3 Social Networking Sites. She is planning to build her own blog, soon.
As PC became more powerful, connections to Internet are easy, there is a lot of web-design software or services everywhere, it starts to make more sense for regular small or medium size business people to make use of Internet and Website. Let me explain more in concrete. If you own a small glossary store in downtown San Francisco, carrying some ethnic products, such as Soy Soup for Japanese travelers, it makes sense for you to have your own website and promote it to Japanese travelers. Businesses, such as Gas Station, Car Repair Shops, or Car Body shops, would be greatly benefited, if they have web pages. They can broadcast their promotions for smog check special price of the week. They can put out special price of, for example, auto body cleaners.
Restaurants and Coffee Shops are perfect people who will take advantage of their own Website, if they have one. Since their specials change daily basis, it make more sense if they to broadcast their menu through Internet. Their customers can learn know that their special of that day is salmon steak without visiting the restaurant. It will drive more customers to go to the restaurant than before.
Using Internet and Website costs less than printing paper base advertisement. If a business owner signs up with advertisement agent, he needs to pay basic cost for membership and he is not sure what is going on with his agent. Having his own website allows the owner to get statistics of visits, page views, or unique views. Business owner can analyze what he should do to promote his business. If someone asks him what business he carries on the street, airport, or train station, he does not have to make printed papers. He can write down his website URL so that the person asked will be able to take a look later. He could print his URL on his business cards. He can print it if someone requests him to do so.
It sounds terrific for regular business people to own their websites. The next question is what will be their challenge. Yes, there are challenges. The largest challenge is to establish basic traffic to their sites and maintain it. They can use contact lists, email addresses, Social Networking Service for starting. They can use free or inexpensive web traffic solution, tools, or services available for forming and maintaining traffic. They can ask professional help to do so, too.