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Micro trends in internet use for business

As an internet supplier in the (Sadc) region, what does one need to think on, plan on, in pushing internet connection to make top of the monthly bill list to be right up there along with the utilities that face cut-off.

By Vimbai Rupere

The biggest internet user is no doubt the business user. Most businesses are working hard to have their presence felt by the seemingly tiny market that all providers are wrestling over.

We have the access providers that are not cutting off their service provision to resellers but are at the same time competing for the same market as their resellers.

As a result, we end up with desperate resellers pushing, cutting thin slices of the pie to several users i.e high contention rates resulting in poor service provision.

This, they do in order to meet exorbitant rates from access providers. Where the access provider is also acting in the capacity of reseller, the cost is high.

There seems to be a need to meet the cost of infrastructure setup in the first month of operation.

What are businesses using the internet for these days? What are the prohibitions? There is need for educating business owners on netiquette. Nowadays every business needs the internet for the delivery of email communications, for written, real- time interactions between users leading to the close of a sale.

Social media is another aspect of the internet that we will discuss later but for now, understanding the needs of the small business is critical. Just like start-up office costs affects decision made by the small business in building a name; so should internet identity.

My least favourite business cards are those that have a free webmail email account as the official business communication addresses such as company@gmail.com; company@yahoo or @hotmail etc. This is or sometimes mostly due to fear of the unknown. Some have not even bothered to ask how one can go about having a companyname.com domain registered.

Others have gone as far as googling it and realising it is very possible.  If you are in this part of Africa, registering a domain can cost you from as little as US$15 to as high as US$400.

This is because of the availability of payment systems that will be acknowledged by the registrars of domains outside of our region. Connectivity issues cannot be discussed in isolation from cost and method of payment and turnaround time.

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