Web Presence Lessons for Small Businesses

Web Presence Lessons for Small Businesses

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.ch002
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Abstract

Whilst writing this book it has become apparent to us that small businesses face numerous challenges and issues when they are considering their Web presence. In fact, although we thought we had the organisation of the book determined before we started, we found that it was necessary to not only increase the number of chapters, but also reorganise planned chapters. We believe this has allowed a more detailed explanation of the important issues that are investigated and explored in the book. So, let’s be honest with ourselves here. How many small business owner/managers are going to have the time to carefully sit down and work through all of the tenets that we have suggested in later chapters – whilst understanding the background (presented in this book) behind them? We believe that if they did they would benefit greatly from their investment of time. Alas, time is one resource that is limited in small businesses. In addition, in this chapter small business researchers are presented with a more concise summary of the lessons for setting up and maintaining a small business presence that have emerged during the writing of this book. The purpose of this chapter, therefore, is to present the tenets from the book, as well as the lessons from ours and other studies, in a manner that might be more informative for small business owner/managers to consider - indeed, a Web presence primer for small business operators. In the following sections we introduce the factors that small businesses should consider when setting up and maintaining their Web presence. Specific detail in relation to each of the areas is provided in the chapters in Parts Two and Three of the book. We will commence with a discussion of whether the small business is in a position to adopt a Web presence.
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Introduction

Whilst writing this book it has become apparent to us that small businesses face numerous challenges and issues when they are considering their Web presence. In fact, although we thought we had the organisation of the book determined before we started, we found that it was necessary to not only increase the number of chapters, but also reorganise planned chapters. We believe this has allowed a more detailed explanation of the important issues that are investigated and explored in the book (Figure 1).

Figure 1

So, let’s be honest with ourselves here. How many small business owner/managers are going to have the time to carefully sit down and work through all of the tenets that we have suggested in later chapters – whilst understanding the background (presented in this book) behind them? We believe that if they did they would benefit greatly from their investment of time. Alas, time is one resource that is limited in small businesses. In addition, in this chapter small business researchers are presented with a more concise summary of the lessons for setting up and maintaining a small business presence that have emerged during the writing of this book.

The purpose of this chapter, therefore, is to present the tenets from the book, as well as the lessons from ours and other studies, in a manner that might be more informative for small business owner/managers to consider - indeed, a Web presence primer for small business operators.

In the following sections we introduce the factors that small businesses should consider when setting up and maintaining their Web presence. Specific detail in relation to each of the areas is provided in the chapters in Parts Two and Three of the book. We will commence with a discussion of whether the small business is in a position to adopt a Web presence.

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At The Start: Web Presence Readiness

There are a number of reasons as to why a small business may not be ready to set up a Web presence. Small business owner/managers need to be aware of the various issues associated with organisational readiness for a Web presence. Performing a readiness assessment will assist businesses to address the barriers and opportunities relevant to adopting a Web presence and allow them to determine their most appropriate Web presence strategy. Armed with such knowledge, small businesses will be better positioned to engage in the process of analysing, developing and managing their Web presence.

Our own studies highlighted the importance of three major factors that can affect the e-readiness of a small business:

  • The outside environment. This mainly revolves around whether there is suitable infrastructure available to set up a Web presence. It is not uncommon for there to be unreliable, slow or even no infrastructure in many developing countries or rural areas of developed countries.

  • The organisational environment. Our studies showed the importance of organisational readiness, particularly in relation to having suitable technology already in place, but also the importance that the existing technology is compatible with any planned Web presence.

  • Characteristics of the owner/manager. We revisit the importance of the owner/manager to the Web presence a number of times throughout the book. It is not uncommon for the drive of the owner/manager to be a key factor that leads to the eventual success of the Web presence initiative.

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
$37.50
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