The world of ICT (Information Communication & Technology) has penetrated into every sphere of human life. Distance seems to dissapeare among people, as nobody can repress the development of Technology. Therefore, the world of ICT has become a part global life style, even it has penetrated in Indonesian villages and become a part of Indonesian community’s life style. Life style involving digital technology has invaded every side of one’s life, at any time. Similarly, business world cannot be separated from digital lifestyle, both global-scale business and micro & small scale business. So digitalized has become a trendsetter.
Furniture and handicraft export are no exception. Cyber Media have been used by hundreds or eventhousands of business players in these fields. Furthermore, with the presence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others, these networks have contributed to make business world becomes more crowded and to make supplayers and buyers feel closer to eacht other.
It is natural and even compulsory for global scale, multinational scale, or regional scale business to use ICT tools, but when local scale and micro business use ICT tools and they are capable to penetrate into global market, it is something that deserve our support and encouragement. According to the ITU survey (International Telecommunication Union), every 1 percent growth will increase the economic growth by 4 percent. (Http://dprd-sidoarjo.go.id/saatnya-umkm-memasuki-dunia-cyber-atau-maya.html)
The presence of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks has provided fresh air to the business climate, especially among SME’s in Indonesia. By utilizing these networks, SME’s players are n
ot only able to move with minimal capital, but also able to penetrated a wider market. In addition, they are also able to interact more closely with the customers. Those are the advantages of cyberspace.
Social networks do not only function as an inter-personal communication, but more than that, they have become powerful tool to penetrated wider or even global market. With this kind of capability, no doubt that big scale business players –wich already havetheir own web portal—also glance and take advantage of these network. Therefore, social networking world has become “crowded” with business nuances.
Just type “craft furniture” or “online business” in the search box on FB, and hundreds, even thousands of marketing movement on these social network will emerge. All of them want to plow the open market that has been widely and globally opened. Not only small companies equipped with one single laptop, but great corporates also grabbed these social networks arena. With the rapid and wild development of online business, we would need to pay more attention to micro, small and medium business by upgrading the existing human resources. With our upgraded SME’s human resources, it is expected that community based business movement will be more lively and prosperous.
However, a specific strategy is needed for doing online business, since not only few business player –due to carelessness—have suffered losses. Here, the role of business associations, government and related institutions are needed to provide guidance in conduting business in cyber world. These institutions can act as a consultant, as a market, community and product development, as a virtual office, and as a medium of e-commerce that bridge buyers and sellers. *** [Uung-IFFINA 2011-translated by Engelina Yosephine Puteri Wonoprabowo]