Why every business is an internet business
Imagine that you had a time travelling machine, and you travelled 20 years back in time. If you told every business owner you saw that they would have to use the internet to conduct all their business operations 20 years from now, most of them would think you’re crazy.
Or they would just assume that you’re just another tin hat conspiracy theorist who also believes that the earth is flat, and just give you a cold shoulder.
However, what they wouldn’t know is that you’re right.
As today, the internet has become an integral part of almost every business operation. We could even say that every business had become an internet business to a certain extent.
This is because nowadays, business owners and employees use the internet to do almost everything. From communicating with customers, and fulfilling their orders, to paying salaries and hiring staff.
In this article, we’re going to look at all the different ways that the internet is being used by businesses today, and what this means for you as a business owner.
How the internet is important in business today
1. To streamline business communications
The rise of the internet has been very influential in shaping how businesses communicate – both internally and externally. Internally, meaning how staff within the same business communicate with each other. Externally, referring to how businesses communicate with their customers, vendors and other stakeholders.
20 years ago, if a customer had a simple enquiry about a business’s products, they would usually have to search long and hard for the company’s phone number using the yellow pages. Then, they would call them using a landline phone. But today, all of that has completely changed.
External business communications
Today, the internet has simplified external interactions for businesses. Beyond email and communications platforms like Teams, many businesses today have cloud-based chatbots on their websites and dedicated social media pages. This makes it easy for businesses to communicate with their potential customers, respond to their enquiries, make sales and more.
Internal business communications
The internet has also transformed internal business communications. With the emergence, advancement, and successful adoption of cloud-based collaboration workspaces like Microsoft 365 and Teams, many businesses have realised that employees don’t have to be in the same office to communicate with each other effectively.
This has led us to where we are today. Many companies are able to adopt remote working practices with ease. Using tools like Teams, Zoom, and Google Workspace, employees can collaborate on projects in real time, share information and present ideas – from any device and location.
2. To enable remote working
The world has changed a lot in the last 2 years. The pandemic forced most businesses to change the way they operate. They had to leave their old, static working practices behind and embrace remote working.
And this was possible because of the internet, as well as the widespread availability of cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Zoom.
Although the dark and gloomy days of pandemic seem to be slowly clearing, they showed a lot of business owners many employees can work from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection. As a result of this discovery, today many more businesses and employees around the globe are utilising the internet to continue working remotely.
3. To produce better marketing and advertising campaigns
Before the internet, many businesses conducted their marketing and advertising campaigns in a very haphazard and uncontrolled way. The typical pre-modern business owner would market their business using mediums such as newspaper ads and direct mail.
While many businesses managed to acquire a fair number of customers using these methods, they all shared one common fundamental flaw. These methods didn’t give business owners the ability to target their specific customers based on their demographics, and tracking success was difficult. For this reason, many businesses would end up wasting a lot of money on unprofitable marketing campaigns.
However, the internet has completely changed that. The internet has helped companies know more about their customers than ever before and create extremely targeted marketing campaigns, using marketing channels like search engine, social media and email.
One core business operation that has benefited from the internet is recruitment.
Before the internet became what it is today, companies would often struggle to find qualified candidates to fill their job vacancies. They would have to go through the hassle of renting ‘help wanted’ ad spaces in the newspapers or would have to go through multiple employment agencies just to find adequate job candidates. The problem with these pre-modern recruitment methods is that they would often end up being expensive, time consuming and leave recruiters burned out, with a small pool of candidates to select from. As a result of this many of them would view recruiting new staff as a daunting task.
However, the internet has completely changed this. It has given recruiters the ability to display their job vacancies in front of millions of candidates with the click of a few buttons. Now recruiters and business owners both can use job websites like Indeed.com, Totaljobs.com and LinkedIn to advertise their job vacancies.
This has enabled them to simplify the recruitment process and be able to sort through a much wider pool of job candidates, so that they can find the perfect employee for their companies without much hassle.
However, the internet’s impact on recruitment doesn’t just end there. The development of online video conferencing platforms like Teams, Zoom and Google Meet have also made it possible for recruiters to conduct face-to-face interviews remotely.
5. Data Storage
Before cloud storage became a thing, data loss was a huge problem in business. So much so, that a study carried out by IBM revealed that it takes companies 206 days on average to find a data breach, and 73 more days just to fix it.
That statistic sounds very worrying right?
However, today many businesses have started to use the cloud storage to back up their company data, so that don’t have to worry about data loss affecting their business. When it comes to storing and protecting data using the cloud, business owners today are spoiled for choice.
They can choose from services within Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services to back up their important data. Enabling them to quickly recover their lost data if they have an internet connection.
By now, you’re probably aware of all the amazing ways that the internet is being used by businesses today to enhance their operations.
You probably also understand what I meant when I said “Every business is an internet business” at the beginning of this article.
Perhaps you even discovered some unique ways that you can use the internet to enhance your business, that you were not aware of before you read this article, and you’re feeling excited about implementing some of them into your own business.
But here comes the bad news …
It’s going to be impossible for your business to unlock all this amazing internet-based utility if your entire organisation is currently struggling to connect to the internet.
If your organisation has a poor internet connection, your whole organisation will be held back, just like many other businesses in the UK. As, currently 47% of SMB businesses in the UK say their internet is slower than promised by their provider, while one in four say they’ve lost out on sales as a result.
If you want to give your organisation the competitive edge that you deserve, then you need to have a reliable, fast, and future-proof broadband solution that can scale up alongside your business and handle all the extra demands of your cloud-based future.
As a BT Wholesale Partner, we can design and deliver a range of leading broadband, leaseline and connectivity services. Broadband One, from 848 is our fast, reliable, and fuss-free broadband solution that’s designed to give your organisation the best internet connectivity without the frills. We can install, secure and manage your solutions so to support your internet business with high-speed and reliable connectivity.
And as a Cisco Premier Integrator, we have the advanced inhouse skills to design, built and implement a reliable and secure network to underpin your core business operations. From access points to secure managed Wi-Fi services, we’re here to help.
If you want to learn more about our range of broadband, Wi-Fi, connectivity, and leased lines, then get in touch with 848 and our team can answer all the questions on your mind.
Thulani is a digital executive and technical writer. He researches new and emerging IT solutions and constructs relevant content that is both informative and easy to digest. Thulani writes articles that provides clear insights for business users.