By Ben Cerroni —

Whether we would like to admit it or not, we have just entered into a business environment that does not allow a small business to prosper without a website. And this isn’t just a sales pitch coming from someone who builds websites; this is coming from someone who has been a close observer and participant in the recent integration of technology into the small business equation.

The Yellow Pages is no longer the go-to source for finding a product or service in the area: Google is. The number of people with access to the Internet has exploded in the past decade and shows no sign of slowing down. These days, if a person wants to find a business there is a very good chance he or she will just pull up an Internet search engine and instantly receive an organized list of businesses that offer what they are looking for. From there, the inquiring customer can link to a website to find information on a business, check its hours of operation and even print directions to the business all without leaving their computer. If your business isn’t showing up in that list of business results because you don’t have a website, you are failing to capture the ever increasing number of prospective customers using the Internet to find what they are looking for.

Another reason to get your business online is the recent boom of the Smartphone. By the end of this year, more than 50% of all mobile phones will have access to the Internet through their Smartphone capabilities. And these aren’t basic capabilities to just check email. These phones (lead by the iPhone and Android phone) are powerful mini-computers with almost the exact same capabilities of a desktop or laptop computer. If a prospective customer is out and about and looking for a cup of coffee, gas station or restaurant, it is now common practice to take out his or her Smartphone and search the area for a business with the desired offerings.

If your business isn’t online yet, you should really start thinking about whether a website could, in any way, benefit your business. If there is a chance it might, you should consider getting your business online. Dublin has a wealth of great businesses and there has never been a better time to share them with the world!

Ben Cerroni is a partner in GranitePeak Web Solutions and is on the staff of the Advocate.

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