The Internet is everywhere, as cliché as it may sound. As the amount of those getting connected grows exponentially, one may look to examine the vast scope of Internet users. Some use the Internet purely for entertainment purposes, while others recognize it as one of the most important small business tools available. Looking at this sort of diversity poses a question; which sort of user are you? Are you the one spending a bulk of your day cruising YouTube for viral videos, or are you the one constantly reading the New York Times and following the Dow? The ACBJ suggests that the manner in which a small business owner makes use of their Internet activity directly correlates with their small business success. For the modern business owner there’s truly a difference between being online and really being online.
Business owners and Internet users alike can be broken down into categories. Each category represents how the user tends to navigate the Web, as well as how much potential business they represent in accordance to their Internet usage. Users can be broken down into viewers, commentators, interactors, investors, and transactors.
Being a viewer or commentator isn’t exactly ideal for the typical small business owner. Viewers typically consist of younger users who utilize the Internet purely for entertainment and media. Such users usually have the smallest businesses and make up little percentage of small business revenue. Meanwhile, commentators encompass an even younger demographic. These users are active in the blogosphere, but that’s about it. Both viewers and commentators do very little in terms of online business, and aren’t desirable for businesses in terms of targets and the sort of users that business owners should strive to be.
It’s the other three categories (interactors, investors, and transactors) that prove to be desirable to emulate in terms of Internet usage. Meanwhile, these users also prove to be lucrative business targets due to their spending tendencies. Interactors consist of those who follow business updates, dabble in downloading, and are quite liberal in their online purchasing habits. Investors live up to their namesake in the sense of the bulk of what they’re doing revolves around banking and investment, although they are less active in online commerce as opposed to interactors. Finally, transactors are the sort of business owners who keep a sharp eye on their competitors and attempt to seal deals online. Statistics reflect that transactors make up a bulk of leading business owners. Transactors are aware that there is no cure-all Internet business tool for instant success and spend their time online wisely to drive their businesses.
In short, one should strive to be somewhere between an interactor, investor, and transactor. By following business issues and being aware of your surroundings online, you can find much more success than simply attempting to use your online resources for entertainment or commentary. There’s no need to scramble for small business ideas when you’re smart and efficient about using the Internet. Focus on the big picture and spend your time online accordingly, as doing so is one of the simplest ideas for small businesses to embrace. Next time you have to choose between the New York Times and the latest YouTube meme, pick the former. You’ll be glad you did.
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