Most local businesses in Mauritius do not have an online presence.

Introduction

Whenever I am interested in looking for information of a local business, the majority of the time I find nothing online including Facebook or on any other social media.

For example, I recently bought a new pair of slim trousers. Upon trying itat home, I found it too tight. I wanted to return it. However, I had no idea of when or if the shop was opened on this day. I did not take any contact information.

So, I try looking on the Internet for any lead. Usually Google has basic information for some businesses or companies if they are relatively well known. However, most of the times, they have nothing.

Why ?

Many Small Businesses owners in Mauritius are not Tech Savvy especially those who deal with customers on a daily basis. They simply do not have time to learn about trending technologies.

To illustrate, last Saturday I went to a well known clothing shop in Rose Hill to buy a shirt for an upcoming wedding reception. The place was buzzing with people. Even though the owner met me and gave me a handshake, he did not even have time to serve me as he already had two customers waiting impatiently before me.

Moreover, he was constantly writing down the order details for his customers who were looking to buy costumes and their accessories. He asked them about their body measurements, cloth type and colour preferences.

Fortunately, even though they were taken by at least one customer, the shop assistants did help me. They were constantly juggling around. On any busy day, they lose plenty of calories.

Now I believe the shop owner, as busy as he and his assistants are, have neither the time nor the energy to promote their business online, even by adding only their working hours for instance. They are already overwhelmed.

Nonetheless, they do have other days where activities are non existent such as in the middle of the month during week days. They can use this slack time to promote their business online via Facebook pages or even develop a simple website. I even noticed the owner showing a portfolios of his work to one of the customers present on his mobile phone. He could eventually have this gallery on the site.

Now this is an opportunity to use an Information Systems to keep track of each customer order details such as measurements as well as the estimated delivery date. This results in numerous benefits such as reducing waste.

Some other small business owners barely have any education. As a result, they do not possess the knowledge or the skills set for adding an online dimension. A couple of years ago, I visited a well known ceramic seller in the country. To my surprise, everything was still on paper. Although their prices were extremely competitive, they had not a single information online. I asked them for their contact information and call them each time I had a query.

The owners most likely established the business at least a decade ago when there was a dearth of knowledge about Information Technology in our country. Possibly, they stopped school early to start or continue their parents’ business. They did not get enough exposure on business trends.

They continued working in such as way until after enough years, their businesses had enough customer retention and growth to be considered successful. As time went by and with enough profits, the owners did not think of looking anywhere else.

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Senior Software Developer, Writer, Amateur Photographer, Reader

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