Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Disruptive Technology

According to a recent report issued by The Kelsey Group, 70 percent of households in the United States now use the Internet to gather information when shopping locally for products and services. However, another report from June, 2004 by the same group revealed that nearly half of small to medium sized businesses did not yet have a Website and 30% of those businesses indicated that they intended to have one within 12 months.

Yahoo! has decided to capitalize on these trends by launching a new feature that provides free Web sites for small businesses. The service features five free pages that can be customized from a variety of templates, as well as, free listing in the Yahoo! local search engine.

If you are a veteran Web developer you merely need to be aware of this service. Small businesses with limited resources are probably not in your target market.

Junior developers, on the other hand, can position this free service as an entry level offering in a portfolio of services. You can offer to develop a limited "free" Website for friends and neighbors with small businesses and charge an hourly rate for your service. You can use the Yahoo! local search engine to identify prospects. As you develop a client base you can interest these small business owners in additional value-added services, such as database connectivity, as their needs expand.

You can learn more by accessing the Yahoo! local website beta site.


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