As an active networker I meet a lot of business owners in my local area (Kent and S.E. London). I usually ask business owners I haven’t met before how (or if) they use Twitter as a way of raising the profile of their business and finding new customers.
Most of them tell me that they understand the marketing potential of Twitter. Many of them already have a Twitter account for their business but a lot of them also tell me that they just don’t have enough time to manage this account properly.
It’s certainly true that building up a critical mass of quality followers on Twitter takes time and effort – there are really no easy short-cuts. Business owners will need to set aside some “Twitter Time” each day. In building up their followers they should aim to target people on Twitter who’ll either spread the word to others on Twitter about the business or be likely purchasers of products/services from the business themselves.