The internet technically began in 1983, but the more recognisable form of the internet in regard to how we know it today began in 1990 and it has been changing the way the world works ever since.
In today’s world, most businesses automatically consider the internet in their business plan – after all, everybody is there, so why wouldn’t you?
While the internet is an amazing technological tool that we have, it also continuously remains to be the wild, wild west.
Like most things in life, the internet has great benefits, but it also has great consequences. When it comes to your business and the internet, it is important that you understand both ends of the spectrum:
Benefits of the Internet
The internet has made it possible to be visible to your customers at all times, which is a great benefit considering since the internet is always open, your customers are theoretically always looking. So online shopping allows your client to browse and purchase from your business at any point.
Another benefit the internet has for businesses are payment options, like bill pay. The days of going to the post office and mailing a check or actually going to the debtor and paying cash are over. Now, consumers can simply pay using their card or a direct withdrawal from their bank when the bill is due.
The internet has made various aspects of business available immediately and almost 24/7. It gives businesses a way to reach their audience immediately and in unique avenues.
Negative Impacts of the Internet
However, like every good thing in life, the internet also has consequences. What you put on the internet doesn’t actually truly go away, even if it gets deleted. And things put on the internet spread quickly.
The internet provides a quick, easy and visible way for people to give their feedback on your business, product or service. And with reviews so easily accessible now, many consumers will look to them before making a decision. A great review of your business can make a difference, but likewise so can a bad one.
Additionally, while your business has discovered the great benefits of the internet, so have other businesses, meaning there is now more competition than ever. This makes things like those good reviews, competitive pricing, and creative marketing important.
The internet is a powerful tool and can benefit or harm your business. It is important that you understand both sides and prepare your business for the internet by including it in your business plan, marketing plan and conversations.