Excellent article Craig! I can’t agree with you more on Point 3. The point is, if small businesses are able to use the web properly they can compete with anyone out there since the world is flat on the web.
Finding out the right partner who can understand your business, who can fit in your budget and who has ample knowledge in the subject they are into, is the biggest task. It is very important for an agency or an individual that claims to do web development or marketing to understand the industry and products/services that their clients are into.
Too much of technical knowledge on the services alone cannot help to succeed on the web. Having worked with an offshore online marketing agency, I have experienced clients asking for social media services (because they’re making a huge noise) without even understanding if that’s the way they have to proceed.
Business owners should do a little research to understand the web on a conceptual basis, not on a technical level, to make thoughtful decisions.
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At the same time agencies and web experts should take a consultative approach more than jumping into anything coming their way.