Small Business Targets Technology Investment for 2011By Reuters | Print
Small businesses are targeting investments in technology and their Web and social media presence as they ring in the new year of 2011.
(Reuters) - Charlie Raines has resolved to become more Web savvy in the New Year in order to haul in business overseas for his fledgling Florida-based seafood company.
"I realize that being on the Internet is definitely the way to go," said Raines, 49, who began his career as a fisherman in 1986. He later ran a seafood business in Thailand before reestablishing in Tampa last year as Fresh Stonecrab. "You have to follow the market wherever it is if you want to stay in business year-round."
Raines's ecommerce site will go live in early January, well ahead of March's Boston Seafood Show, where he hopes to make a splash with potential customers. It will allow sourcing of fish from markets such as Canada and China after Florida season slows in April. Raines eventually wants to host seafood auctions online.
Raise a glass to search engine optimization, Twitter, Facebook and the myriad other online tools that let small companies, like Fresh Stonecrab, compete with bigger fish. Commitments for Internet-related improvements, simple to complex, are emerging as the focus of many owners setting New Year's resolutions for the coming year.
"I've re-launched my website and I want to make sure that I'm updating it often so that I can really optimize - and also update my social media platform," said Felicia Frazier, owner of a small business that dresses up the interiors of residential homes so they are better positioned to sell in the competitive real estate market.
Frazier, 37, launched Staging by DWELL 15 months ago after her job in technical design was eliminated by retail chain Limited Too, whose stores were folded by parent company Tween Brands. She said she recognizes the importance of building a strong Web presence to create awareness for the emerging business, which is run out of her Columbus, Ohio home.
"It's been pretty slow but my business mirrors the real estate industry," said Frazier, who remains energized at the prospect of running her own show after years in the corporate world. "Now is the time to get myself together so that in 2011 I can really be focused and go full force."