Small business has a crucial advantage over big business

I read Mike Moran’s epic Search Engine Marketing, Inc to learn the fundamentals of search marketing, and have enjoyed reading his blog since. He has posted recently on the question Should Small Business Ditch The Web. He doesn’t agree with that sentiment, and neither do I.

Small business isn’t ditching the web because it is disadvantaged. Its quite the opposite. By the way, I worked 5 years for IBM (in Australia). Its a great company, but I decided to leave to start my own business precisely because the web offers such incredible *advantages* to small business (reading Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail was what did it).

Rather than disadvantage, small business has a crucial advantage over big business. Large businesses often already know how to engage with not only their home country market, but also a global market. Now small business can as well. And transform their business in the process. It might mean changing a product or service. But there are enormous opportunities that come from the accessibility of new markets, either national or international.

Today, someone can launch a global business with zero capital investment. That is a truly extraordinary change.

#1 rankings on top keywords is not a pre-requisite for strong business outcomes. That said, top rankings can be achieved by small business, but it does take persistence and a strong emphasis on content marketing.

A small business can benefit greatly from search engine marketing. Right now many web sites are built on poor foundations (from a search engine perspective), and small business suffers from that. Curse the advertising-centric folk who captured ‘web site design’, and roll out impenetrable (for a search engine) flash, javascript and other ways of hiding good content from search engines. But it won’t take too long before this turns around. A good search engine platform with good content is a very powerful combination for small business.

Small business wont’ be ditching the web en-masse any time soon.