QotD – Does Every Business Need To Be Online?

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Here’s our Question of the Day:

Can you think of ANY companies that would NOT benefit from an Internet presence? Or does EVERY business need to be online?

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10 thoughts on “QotD – Does Every Business Need To Be Online?

  1. Bill Sweetman

    Organized crime? ;+)
    On a more serious note, I have sometimes come across (in the offline world) legitimate companies and individuals who did NOT want to be ‘found’ online, and hence did not have a Web presence. For some of them, they felt this added a sense of ‘mystery’ to their image.
    I know it seems strange, and I’m not saying I agree with them, but these folks genuinely felt that NOT having an online presence was a benefit to them.

  2. Ken Schafer - One Degree

    Bill,
    Yeah, I’m sure organized crime has never heard of the ‘Net. Ha!
    You nicely avoided saying if you felt that these “mystery businesses” were delusional or if you think the strategy has merit.

  3. Jeff Ginsberg

    Along Bills POV.
    I know of several business that feel their best advantage is the fact that they are below the radar or not even known to their competitors.
    These people think it is in their best interest not to have a website.
    Many mom and pop shops do not have a web site.
    Next time you go into your local convenience store, restaurant, bar, jewelry or even Uncle Johnny’s Snake and Drain service ask you self…do these guys really need a web presence or a better sign in their window telling you their hours of operation or in Uncle Johnny’s case, a more up to date fridge magnet.
    A lot of business do not need a website, but they do need to be found on the web. That’s why there is Canada 411.

  4. Dianna Huff

    I agree with the refrigerator magnet comment. I have three on my fridge I refer to regularly: my son’s pediatrician’s phone number, the dog groomer’s, and the vet’s. I don’t know if they have a Website — I’ve never had the need to check.
    And don’t forget speed dial. I should put the local pizza place’s number on speed dial. 🙂

  5. David Dougherty

    I don’t know Jeff – I, for one, think that restaurants, Bars and jewellers do need a web presence. As for Mom and Pops shops – “need” may be a strong word, but it couldn’t hurt.
    If you hear about a store (word of mouth passed through the criminal underworld or possibly a refrigerator magnet), any store – where do you immediately check for more information? Online. What do you expect? More than just a phone number and an address.

  6. Kathryn Lagden

    Underworld and mysterious types aside I would go with ‘Yes, every business could benefit from being online’.
    It doesn’t have to be fancy. Often all I really want is a phone number and hours of operation. And some acknowledgement that the information is current and I’m not looking at operating hours from 3 years ago…because that is really annoying.

  7. Dianna Huff

    Re: checking hours of operation and phone numbers. Am I the only one who still uses the hard copy yellow pages? For local merchants, I usually go to the phone directory before checking online (old habits die hard, I guess).
    The other thing I thought of is restuarants. I keep menus with my phone directory and use these to check hours of operation and phone numbers.

  8. Ken Schafer - One Degree

    Dianna,
    I found a new yellow pages dumped on the end of my driveway and simply walked it over to the recycle bin waiting for pick-up a few feet away.
    I shed a tear for all those trees that died satisfying someone’s outdated business model.
    Personally I just use Google Local.

  9. Simon Rodrigue

    I agree that businesses can benefit from a presence online, but instead of focusing on the Mom and Pop stores it would be interesting to start a discussion on why so many large Canadian companies do not take their online component seriously. Personally I feel that until we can provide consumers with a greater option of online choices and a level of business sophistication that they experience from sites in the south we will never have an online economy that so many countries enjoy. Just today I had a conversation with my wife on how she couldn’t purchase from “the” card company and had a hard time researching on a major player in the travel space online as they were US based sites. Calls to the customer service dept only gave the common answer we are currently working on a site for Canada…..
    While it is always nice to use examples like the above to show that your business is more advanced that the other players in the space online it just highlights a challenge to all of us that we need to do a better job of providing an understanding on the value of a website, the impact it can have on brand perception and the influence it has in the “where to buy decision”
    A great QotD to follow-up on this would be: What needs to be done to evolve the online marketplace in Canada?

  10. Matt Williams

    I find it difficult to trust man companies above your “small business” without them having a website, contact information and corporate information nicely presented anymore.
    Most recently, I was approached by a geological consulting company to become one of their geologists. After searching for them online and not finding anything, I would have given them a miss if it wasn’t for me bumping in to my economic geology professor at a grocery store and asking him about the company. It has been the best job I’ve had to date in the field.
    The overall point is that, especially when it comes to recruiting and marketing to people, not having your information online makes people weary and may end up costing you a lot of business. I think every company, who can afford it, should be online. Even if it is just a page with a some light info and most importantly, contact information.

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