Local Business Opens Internet to Small Business, Individuals By: Betty Coutant Submitted: 3/5/2004
It has been a useful form of marketing since the beginning of time and advances in technology have not changed the effectiveness of good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. They have, however, made it more effective, and now an innovation by a Maysville company will make Internet 'word of mouth' cost efficient as well.
Small businesses had little access to the Information Highway, due mostly to the cost of Internet service that would allow them to create, and easily and quickly make updates to their Web sites, Aleris owners Sean George and Justin Parnell said Thursday. Both men already own businesses that provide an array of computer-related services. They were drawn together by technology needs within the area and found their respective talents made them a good fit for a new venture.
George's strength lies in hardware technology, and Parnell brought software and marketing talents to the mix.
In today's society consumers expect instant results and as much information as possible when shopping for a service. Businesses have known that for years, but the cost of creating Web sites and the labor intensive nature of constant updates has made it nearly impossible for small businesses to take advantage of the technology, the men said.
After about two years of developing and improving software that will make Web sites affordable and easy to update, Parnell and George are ready to offer the service.
During the research phase, George said the cheapest package they found that provided Web site design, software, training, e-mail support, marketing advice, marketing tools and consulting time and services was $30,000. Some range as much as $100,000.
Their software will do the same thing at a price of about $800 per year -- easily affordable for small and home-operated businesses.
The program will virtually cut out the Web master, which was once necessary to load updates, slowing the process in a world where speed is almost everything, George said.
'It allows them total control about what goes on their site and when it goes on,' George said. It will be user-friendly enough to allow businesses with the most rudimentary understanding of computers to keep their own sites updated.
Several Maysville businesses have already adopted the software -- including The Ledger Independent -- and most have experienced immediate results.
'They get really excited and they get a lot of feedback,' Parnell said. That feedback comes quickly too -- sometimes in a matter of minutes. And it comes from everywhere. One client got a response from someone in Australia.
The availability of well-designed Web sites that are constantly updated will be an important tool for small businesses to stay alive and even compete with the big boys. It opens up the market from Maysville -- or any other town -- and its immediate surroundings to, well, the world.
'It gives them an opportunity to compete against large competitors,' Parnell said.
'It gives them a leg up,' George agreed.
The men said they wanted to bring technology to this area because they live and own businesses here. It won't bother them if the technology goes world wide, however.
'We live and work here, and we want this community to grow,' Parnell said.
Though the Web site software is the company's 'flagship,' George and Parnell are also, through Aleris, working to bring wireless Internet connection to the county.
The first stage of the wireless system is up and running in Washington. By summer Maysville and possibly all of Mason County will have the service available.
It will be low cost compared to DSL or satellite connections. At about $25 per month its cost is closer in line with dial-up service.
Wireless service will be a component in attracting technology related businesses to the area. It will also make things easier for portable users of the Internet.
Gone will be the wires connecting computers at trade shows, conferences and expos. In fact, Aleris is donating the service to the Regional Business Expo & Job Fair set for April 16 and 17.
St Patricks - Another Satisfied Client 'Sean George and Courika Solutions have been doing work for St. Patrick's for 5+ years. Sean creatively finds ways to save us money while giving us the technology we need to provide our students and faculty the tools to accomplish their work.'
-St Patrick's School
We thank the staff at St Patrick's for the kind words, and especially Mary Palmer and Father William Hinds for their continued support.
Courika Solutions aims to take every small business or organization to the next technical level without them having to understand what is needed or how to accomplish it.
That's why our motto is ''The Technology To Power Your Business''.
Maysville Gets Free Wireless Internet Since it's inception, Maysville can count itself the first at many things in the State of Kentucky. As of March 2nd, Maysville will be able to tack one more on its long string of firsts when it will become Kentucky's first privately funded free wireless city. Showing it's true spirit of innovation, Maysville business leaders have teamed up with area technology firms Courika Solutions and Aleris to bring free high-speed wireless Internet access to virtually all of Maysville's open spaces.
Local Business Opens Internet to Small Business, Individuals It has been a useful form of marketing since the beginning of time and advances in technology have not changed the effectiveness of good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. They have, however, made it more effective, and now an innovation by a Maysville company will make Internet 'word of mouth' cost efficient as well.