Businesses must harness 2010 online

Local businesses should consider taking an online route for 2010

Pete Flynn, MD of local specialist Web application development company, White Wall Web, believes that the Fifa 2010 World Cup is a good opportunity for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and Small Office Home Office (SOHO) entrepreneurs to level the playing field against larger, generally more competitive companies by becoming more creative in selling products online.

“The 2010 FIFA World Cup is expected to attract approximately 560 000 ticket holders as well as around 360 000 non-ticket holders.

“The current trend among international visitors is to research their stay, book their flights, visits to tourist attractions and, as is the case in 2010, their game tickets online. Gone are the days of phoning around or sending emails requesting info – if South African SMBs and SOHOs haven’t got an online presence yet, they should be heading in this direction now,” he advises.

“South African businesses have always been known for their innovativeness and their abilities to think outside the box,” says Flynn. “Now is the time to bring their unique product offerings to the international market.”

Travel is the number one selling commodity online, with sales of almost $100-billion (R778-billion) being logged on an annual basis.

“While we may be facing an economic downturn right now, it is expected that late 2009 early 2010 will be the beginning of the global economic upturn, which would mean that visitors travelling to South Africa to watch FIFA games will also, undoubtedly, want to travel and experience South Africa on a more national scale.

“However, businesses that are not online now, showcasing their offerings and highlighting their range of products and services will just as undoubtedly miss the boat. Trips are being planned, flights are being booked and itineraries are being cemented. Businesses should not wait any longer – they should invest in broadband, purchase Web space and start using those innovative minds to get their products in front of the Billion plus Internet users online today.

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Businesses must harness 2010 online