SA's small businesses failing to harness marketing potential of Internet
According to a recent survey conducted by Snupit, a lot of South Africa's small business are not capitalising on the power of the Internet. While these businesses want to get more work, many of them are unable to use online channels to pull in more business.
The survey also reveals an overwhelming majority of small businesses rely on word of mouth. While many of these businesses realise this is not enough, they have apparently failed to innovate. Less than half of the businesses have a Web site, while fewer have a social media presence. Not even a quarter of them have used online advertising. Lagging behind in the digital world is costing these businesses.
Founder and CEO of South Africa's leading online marketplace, Snupit, Avinash Samlall observes: "It is almost paradoxical; the businesses need more work, but fail to utilise the marketing potential of the Internet. In our experience, the right push and guidance is what these entities need to get the ball rolling. And that's what Snupit provides them."
All data points to the simple fact that it makes sense for businesses to turn to the Internet to achieve their targeted growth. Apparently, a big hurdle to achieving that is the belief that word of mouth is the best way to grow a business. Granted, this is a strong and reliable way to get more work; the Snupit team believes that the modern business must look beyond this. For instance, if a business gets a referral during a peak season, it is usually bad for both parties. On one end, the customer is unhappy because it's hard for them to get an appointment. On the other hand, the business is also disappointed, having to turn away potential customers.
The Snupit platform enables small businesses to regulate their business growth while leveraging the full power of the Internet. Professionals and businesses can create their profile page on Snupit for free and start using their online presence in just a few minutes. They get quality leads on Snupit. The problem of getting the wrong leads or getting the right ones at the wrong time, as discussed above, is eliminated through Snupit's system.
Samlall also remarked: "In addition to getting the right leads, pros only pay for the ones they actually pursue. We have been helping pros and businesses in South Africa get more customers for six years now. While proud of our work, we feel there's still a lot more to be done. We intend to work harder to bring more businesses across the country within Snupit's fold. An optimist will see the glass half full, identifying the huge potential of the Internet and ways to reach new customers."
Regardless of the platform South African businesses use, one thing is clear, they need a stronger Web presence and to be more proactive in harnessing the marketing potential of the Internet. This will also have a great, positive impact on the South African economy.