Introduction

Introduction

Stephen Burgess (Victoria University, Australia), Carmine Carmine Sellitto (Victoria University, Australia) and Stan Karanasios (Leeds University Business School and AIMTech Research Group, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-224-4.ch001
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Abstract

Over the last decade there has been a great deal of research into the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in small businesses. More recently, this research has centred on the use of Internet technologies in small businesses, particularly their use of Websites for the purposes of ‘e-business’ or ‘e-commerce’. Much of this research has examined the adoption of these technologies, including the drivers and barriers that small businesses face. Other studies have investigated models or frameworks that might help to guide small businesses to take full advantage of these technologies, particularly Websites for the purpose of conducting e-business. A great deal of this research has been admirable in that it has contributed to the body of work available in the area. Simultaneously, there has been a body of research that has focused on specific aspects of establishing a Website. These aspects can be technical in nature, addressing issues such as how to design a Website or how to identify hosting options, or business orientated, involving the identification of aspects of Website promotion and publishing. However, given the diversity of research being reported, we feel that there is a major gap in that small businesses are left without guidance in relation to how to approach all aspects of setting up and maintaining their Websites. The components are out there, but there is little available in relation to how a small business might access these, or even piece them all together. In fact, a little further on in this book we will suggest that these days, with the presence of many of Web services such as portals available, a small business Web presence may be even more than just a Website.
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This Book

In this book we will cover the major areas that a small business needs to address to be able to appropriately establish and maintaining its Web presence. The book also provides a structured approach for small businesses that leads them through the process of:

  • Determining their business strategy and the commensurate alignment of this strategy with their Web presence.

  • Deciding what Website features are required according to their Web presence strategy.

  • Determining how best to host the Web presence, and if required, how to design a Website for maximum effectiveness.

  • Understanding some governance and technical (for instance, security) aspects related to the Web presence.

  • Knowing how to promote the Web presence.

  • Understanding the importance of evaluating their Web presence.

Most of the chapters in this book outline some background in relation to each of these areas, as well as the results of our own, and others’, small business research. More importantly, we summarise the chapters’ salient points in a series of tenets to guide small businesses through each part of the process. The following section provides some background for material in the rest of the book.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
M. Gordon Hunter
Preface
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Chapter 1
Introduction  (pages 1-26)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Over the last decade there has been a great deal of research into the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in small businesses.... Sample PDF
Introduction
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Chapter 2
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
Whilst writing this book it has become apparent to us that small businesses face numerous challenges and issues when they are considering their Web... Sample PDF
Web Presence Lessons for Small Businesses
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Chapter 3
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The new global economy has resulted in the availability of unprecedented opportunities for small business. ICTs in particular have contributed to... Sample PDF
Readiness for a Web Presence
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Chapter 4
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
In the previous chapter we highlighted the importance of planning for an effective Web presence. In fact, the existence of a disciplined planning... Sample PDF
Business Strategy and Planning
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Chapter 5
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how a small business decides upon its Web presence strategy and then determines what features will make up... Sample PDF
Web Presence Strategy and Content
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Chapter 6
Web Presence Hosting  (pages 141-167)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
In earlier chapters we discussed the need to link Web presence strategy with anticipated small business direction and motivations - where this... Sample PDF
Web Presence Hosting
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Chapter 7
Website Design  (pages 168-196)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This is the most technical of the chapters in this book. It is centred on Website design and is the only chapter in the book where we exclusively... Sample PDF
Website Design
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Chapter 8
Web Presence Promotion  (pages 197-222)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
There are literally millions of businesses with a Web presence on the Web and more and more being added every day, all competing to attract... Sample PDF
Web Presence Promotion
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Chapter 9
Web Presence Governance  (pages 223-252)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
The initial idea behind this chapter was to expand on the issue of security, predominantly in relation to ensuring that a small business operator... Sample PDF
Web Presence Governance
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Chapter 10
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This chapter examines the notion of how the success of a small business Web presence can be assessed. In doing so, there is initially a discussion... Sample PDF
Evaluating Web Presence Success
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Chapter 11
A Look at the Future  (pages 275-301)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This chapter serves to raise an awareness of some of the more cutting edge Internet innovations and applications that may become viable and useful... Sample PDF
A Look at the Future
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Chapter 12
What Led Us Here?  (pages 302-321)
Stephen Burgess, Carmine Carmine Sellitto, Stan Karanasios
This Appendix provides a brief overview of our PhDs - all of which involved research into small business adoption and use of ICT and Internet... Sample PDF
What Led Us Here?
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About the Authors