The internet has certainly given a boost to many small business owners, either by opening up new business opportunities or by giving them a powerful and inexpensive marketing platform. Many others have chosen to stay offline for any number of reasons: they're not comfortable with technology, their customers aren't online, or they simply don't want to set up an online presence. Apparently the fact that businesses can not have an online presence and still be successful is a total surprise to the WSJ, which breathlessly declares "that being online isn't always a prerequisite for success." Who ever thought it was? The reporter seems genuinely shocked that small-business owners would stay offline, and even more so that they could succeed after doing so. This implies a belief many people seem to have: that being online is a silver bullet that will make a small business successful, regardless of any other factors. The internet exists as a tool for small business owners; some can use it to grow their businesses, while others can succeed without it. What's so surprising about that?
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