There was a time when the Internet was something no one had even considered, and businesses did fine without such a thing. But these days, businesses need the Internet more than most people can even imagine. With the following functions being critical to running most businesses, the Internet's role in the modern business world is an unquestionable fact.
The days of keeping a ledger book with a pencil and a couple of columns are long gone. With functions like Google Docs and banking records primarily being online, the modern business world needs the Internet just to keep its books functioning properly. This is particularly true when you have a diverse set of employees traveling all over the place and spending on all kinds of things.
Reaching a Global Marketplace
There was a time when a company's main market was the geographic area surrounding its headquarters, but those days are in the past. Considering how many consumer products come out of China, the Internet's ability to translate languages and currencies has revolutionized sourcing most everything. Also, considering how many companies have the bulk of their sales in faraway places, the Internet is doubly important because plenty of companies would not survive without it.
Corporate Image Development
There was a time when the local news media was the main source of corporate image, with advertisements and direct customer interaction being most of the rest. But in the modern world, a lot of your company's reputation is formed with minimal in-person interaction through the numerous ways your company is online. You are almost undoubtedly being talked about and posted about on numerous social media sites right now, whether you are contributing to it or not.
Point of Sale Transactions
The point of sale system depends on the Internet connection the same way the old knuckle buster credit card device depended on making regular runs to the bank. The main difference is, POS systems are a lot faster and offer the security of being sure that the transaction is approved and the funds are available. With so much of modern business being dependent on moment to moment amounts of cash being available, the POS needs this kind of digital reassurance to keep the entire system of most businesses in place.
Communications Between Offices
With so much of the world spread out across entire countries and entire continents, no business of any size can operate with only one office location. As such, interoffice locations depend on technology and technological trends, the Internet structure must be functional. With the amount of information that has to cross between your various office locations, you need to be online or you could never coordinate it all. This is particularly true when major decisions need to be made and you need to take in large amounts of data in order to make these complex calls.
Marketing is about a lot more than just trying to sell things to people. It is about making sure that your customers know who your company is, what you are offering and why your customers are in dire need of it every day. Thus, marketing has to be a constant conversation that works both ways. This is a conversation that can't happen without strong connectivity, and only the Internet can provide that level of connection between the company and the customers.
This is a learning process for both sides, and it never ends. For your customers, you can teach them ways to make their lives better through the use of your products. As well, your company needs to learn who your customers are and how you can be of maximum benefit to them. With the Internet, this process is a rapid and efficient one. Without the Internet, it would be clumsy and prone to failure.
Tracking Customer Complaints
No matter how great you are at pleasing your customers, sooner or later you are going to run across a complaint of some sort. The best way to deal with this is to first know about it and then to understand what is causing it. With the Internet, this process is easy to have happen. But without the Internet's effect, most companies would struggle to try and understand what their customers were complaining about. Today, companies can adapt to complaints faster than they ever could before.
Your strategy is a critical part of making sure your business stays competitive in a constantly changing world. Having the same old strategy is a recipe for disaster, so you need to constantly adapt. The problem is, adapting takes a lot of knowledge about how things currently are. Without the Internet, how would you have any knowledge of the world beyond the people you can see in your home town? Companies that want to be in the know are constantly checking out their customers' desires and their competitors' offerings.
When you want to recruit people, you can't just put an ad in a newspaper anymore and look over the couple of dozen resumes you will receive. Nowadays, you have to post something online to find the best talent. Sometimes the best person for the job will come from another state, or even another country. From there, you can check up on their background by scanning social media, their online resume, their LinkedIn contacts, and you can even email their past employers to get the best information. Without these tools, the hiring and recruitment process would be a lot worse off.
Keeping Customers Up to Date
When your customers don't know about something you offer, they can't know how much they want and need it. Through the Internet, your web properties are essentially a tireless sales force that is constantly extolling the virtues of what you have to offer. With your customers being up to date all of the time, you can sell a lot more effectively. But without the Internet, this would not be possible.
The Internet makes a lot of things possible that otherwise wouldn't be. Modern business needs the Internet in so many ways.