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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Friday, August 13, 2004
SMBs Disillusioned with Poor Website Traffic
The biggest challenges that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have on the Web is (1) low traffic to their websites, and (2) the burden of maintaining their websites and updating content. That's according to Helen Chan, analyst for The Yankee Group research firm, via eChannelLine.

But if you think these challenges dissuade small businesses from setting up websites, think again.

Increasing numbers of SMBs are adopting websites. They're being driven to it by their customers and business partners, who demand a web presence. Between 36 and 60 percent of SMBs with Internet access (varies by size) now have websites.

For web hosting companies, it means there is still opportunity serving the SMB market. Yet, one of the biggest challenges that web hosting companies face is the techno-lingo they use to describe their services, making it tough for SMBs to understand. And, the web hosting companies don't adequately walk SMBs through processes, apparently liking to keep things a big mystery.

Read the whole article. It paints a pretty realistic picture based on my own experience.

On the one side, you have SMBs who need tried and true solutions. They can't afford to take a chance on anything cutting edge. They have limited understanding of technology, yet are being pushed into technology by customer demands and a need to be competitive. And as time goes on they will have a greater need for more sophisticated websites, especially database driven sites.

On the other side, you have Web hosting companies who sometimes are their own worst enemies when it comes to sales. Instead of making their hosting service dirt-simple to attract SMBs, they make it unnecessarily difficult. The hosting companies that figure out how to communicate at the SMBs' level and simplify their service offerings to appeal to busy small businesses will find the most success.
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