Is there any doubt that ecommerce and a presence on web has become de rigueur for every business, large or small?
I submit that there is no longer any doubt that clients and customers expect that every legitimate business must have, at very least, a "business-card" web site listing contact information, business location and a simple "about us" page, along with a contact email link or web form.
I don't think anyone can argue any longer that only certain types of businesses belong on web. Only two years ago, it was still being actively debated whether that were true. No longer can burger joint be without a menu and operating hours posted online. No longer does any corporation believe it needn't have an intranet for suppliers and employees.
No longer can even self-employed claim they can't benefit from a place to post their resume. Even families have sites to keep relatives and friends informed and stay in touch.
Now many will claim that their web presence does little toward helping them to profit in their business. That is an entirely different issue and I'll go even further and call profit irrelevant to having a web site. Just as profit is unrelated to whether that business has a phone, fax machine, computer, desks, chairs and indoor plumbing. Those are expected, no, required, to a business in order to operate AS a business.
So too is web presence, a domain name, email address and an employee (even if that's you) to handle and respond to email, answer phone, empty trash and clean bathroom. Your business is expected to have a web presence, period. End of discussion.
Now to responsibilities related to that web presence. I've been discussing building a site for an attorney friend for two years. She hates email and doesn't want to be responsible for answering it or dealing with anyone electronically. Her legal secretary uses web daily to research and communicate with clients but knows not to discuss that with attorney and has told me in confidence that her boss despises email and will have nothing to do with web. I may as well give it up.
I'm going to suggest that this kind of phobia will need to come to an end for all those who expect to get on in wired world. Get over it, get a web site and answer your email! Grow up! You needn't carry a web-enabled personal digital assistant cell phone (yet) to maintain your appointment calendar and can still scribble notes on scraps of paper if you like. You needn't do your business banking online or own a Blackberry wireless but get a web site and answer your email!