4 Entry e-barriers for small and medium-sized businesses

in collaboration with MSc. Lourdes Charles

Even though a large proportion of commercial activities have moved online during the past 10 years, small and medium-sized business (SMB’s) in Mexico have not been definitely empowered by new technologies to boost their sales records.

There is lot of potential for small and medium sized businesses to increase their sales and revenues, however, the presence in the online world is scarce, as it relies only on a third-party websites often used only as an inconsistent advertising tool, rather than considering it as a major tool for finding new clients for potential sales.

Nowadays, Web 2.0 tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. have become an important part of the selling process for big companies or e-startups, but most of the time, those are not even within the scope of a SMB to promote a product or service. It is hard to find SMB’s with updated and reliable information over the internet.  They do not see the opportunities in networking and direct contact with customers nor engaging with new prospects through this channel.

4 major e-barriers are preventing small and medium sized businesses from benefiting from their online presence. Of course there are many other e-barriers for SMB’s, the most cautious and risk-aversion personality of the entrepreneur family, but keeping the story short will help to focus on solutions and recommendations, a more productive task in the Internet nowadays, rather than just driving an endless conversation with no action items or takeaways. This entry will just mention those and will discuss thoroughly through each of those in following blog entries:

  1. Not sure how to start selling online. The first thought may be that online market could be complex, costly and unpredictable. Or that the new technology is not appropriate for a particular business.
  2. New technology may need a superfast broadband access (for publishers and consumers), which is still expensive in Mexico.
  3. Unreliable Postal Delivery services.The inability to ensure guaranteed delivery throughout Mexico is a major concern for businesses. It is tight to the senses of satisfaction between the seller and the buyer if the product/service is not delivered on the agreed date.  Despite, the extra fee for delivery. Customer will become really irritated because of not-delivered packages.
  4. Security on online transactions (card frauds). Businesses are threatened on frauds and they may rely on banks to reduce the risk of attacks.  According to Forbes in Mexico and U.S. the problem is much more prolific. One recent survey finds that 27% of cardholders around the world have experienced fraud in the past five years. Mexico and United States are more prone to fraud with 44% and 42% compared with Sweden at the bottom with just 12%.[1] Therefore, it may be especially damaging.

Welcome all comments on those or proposition for new ones…

[1] http://www.forbes.com – Countries with the most card fraud: U.S. and Mexico, Oct 2012.