At a web conference in Brussels, Google’s regional vice president of sales and operations (Northern and Central Europe) highlighted the importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the small business online community in the development of local economies. Matt Brittin stated that the small businesses online are the ‘real Internet companies’ as opposed to massive Internet companies like Google.
The Significance of Small Businesses Online According to Brittin, users always think of the same Internet companies, like eBay, Twitter, Youtube and of course Google, when considering the importance of the web industry and economic growth in general. However according to Brittin, small and medium sized enterprises that incorporate the web as a central, and not additional, part of their operations are driving economic growth. At the conference he championed a shift in policy and attitude that would serve to harness and further develop the success of small businesses online. His opinion is that small and medium sized businesses are the unsung heroes of local economies; he wants to give them a platform where their voice can be heard.
The Economic Input of Small Businesses Online The significant contribution that small businesses online make to the economy is apparent throughout the world in both developed and developing countries. Google and the Lisbon Council, an economic think tank, recently launched a collaborated research initiative that measures economic contribution and examines how the Internet can further increase this input. The results could change the traditional perception of SMEs in economics and the web. With regards to small businesses online, it has already been reported that companies who centrally integrate the internet into their business grow twice as fast compared to those who don’t.
Niche Businesses and the Internet Niche businesses in particular take advantage of the Internet and the wide audience it offers. Small business online marketing can capture long tail searches, thus even the most bespoke companies can find their market. Matt Brittin gave example of such niche online small businesses, including a British company that sells golf balls salvaged from lakes, and a French company that specialises in cosmetics made from donkey milk.
Small Businesses Online Will Drive the Revolution Matt Brittin also compared the revolutionary power of the Internet to electricity. Currently, most companies have IT or web specialists; even online marketing for small businesses often has a single operator or is an outsourced job. Similarly in the past during the induction of electricity, companies had electricity specialists because it was new and somewhat intimidating, but today electricity is used by all. Today, everyone at a company needs to be familiar and comfortable with the Internet to fully utilise its benefits. It is predicted that the number of people online by 2015 will increase from two billion to five billion, meaning that the Internet is not a subsidiary, not just a necessity, but an everyday technology incorporated into everyday human tasks and industries, and it’s the small business online that will drive this trend.
Penny Munroe is an avid writer in digital trends and aims to educate readers on how to best utilise the Internet for business purposes. She started her career working from the serviced offices Edinburgh offer and has now recently located to office space in London. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for us?