Far too often I meet small business owners without websites. I’m incredulous. I immediately ask “Why?” Often I hear this: “Why should I spend money on a site no one will look at?”
I’m floored that so many business owners still think only big businesses need a website. To me, the internet exists for small businesses. People want to buy from local businesses! They are often cheaper, have better customer service and often fill a niche. Kroger may offer meat when you need it but sometimes you want that perfect type of fish, rare enough not to be stocked in the big stores… or you may have a thing for German pop music and the selection at Virgin Music will probably not be very big. Thus, the need for local, niche business.
The great thing about the internet is that now, if you own a niche, people across the globe can find you! Niche websites have practically become a buzz word in internet marketing circles. iMedia says that people are moving away from portals in favor of blogs and websites revolving around their particular interests. This trend is called The Long Tail effect. Chris Anderson coined the term and wrote an interesting article back in 2004 all about it. What it boils down to is that mainstream isn’t the entire pie, there is a huge market out there for what’s not “popular”. Everyone has their distinct needs and interests.
Chris has a book and a blog that go into more detail about what The Long Tail is and how it effects business. Its worth checking out.
I’m curious if anyone has experienced the niche effect, like receiving internet business from across the country. I’d love to spotlight some cases, let me know if you have one.