Despite the increasing importance of an online presence for every single business of all sizes and descriptions, numerous smaller businesses are not adjusting to their strategy well enough. In fact, according to a study, more than 50% of small businesses have no online presence at all.
The question is – does it even matter?
The majority of small business owners see their business as a complete offline entity, preferring offline means to promote themselves and gain new customers. However, regarding any business – from large companies to the sole trader and everything in between – a completely offline venture is a risky strategy when customers nowadays are spending more and more time online.
Taking advantage of the internet as a business tool is important even for businesses that consider themselves as mainly an offline venture. Fitness businesses, beauty businesses, driving instructors, plumbers and a plethora of other such service businesses ultimately measure their success by their ability to build offline customer relationships and the web can play a huge part in achieving that. So no matter how established or how successful your business is offline, it’s of vital importance to get the basics of online in place too for your business.
For small business ventures, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the budget, the staff or the free hours to invest in a complex online strategy, but there are some simple steps you can take to enjoy the success of an online presence. Additionally, you can also enlist the services of a professional web development company in Sri Lanka to get the results you want.
Be accessible for everyone
The key to making the most of the internet is making your business available and accessible, letting people interact with you in a way that suits them and whenever they want to. Most people are online around the clock and as such, they expect to be able to interact with a business whenever and wherever they are online. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to have a presence on every single online platform; rather, it means that you need to be clever about selecting the ones that are most important to your target audience.
At the most basic level, it means having a professional, basic website with easy-to-find and relevant information about your business. This is why it’s important to have a good, effective website that appeals to customers. One of the best ways of achieving this is by hiring the services of an experienced web development company.
First concentrate on thinking local before going big
Taking advantage of the myriad of online tools doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go global, and in fact, it is quite the opposite. It can be a very successful method to building good customer relationships on a local level, which is a vital step to the success of a small business. Focusing on your online touch points means building relationships with both, present and prospective customers and turning that online connection to an offline practice and a customer base that is loyal, engaged and who come back time and again. Also consider local listing sites, online networking groups and building partnerships with other local businesses.
Consider multi-channels but focus on the ones that really matter
One of the first things to give thought to is to consider through which online channels you want to make your business visible. While your website is your flagship, you’ll need to get your brand to where your potential customers are. Small business owners often don’t have the time or the resources to do everything and investing in a channel that is fruitless can end up being a costly mistake. So make sure that you think long and hard about where your customers are spending their time online and focus your marketing efforts accordingly.
Turn loyal customers into your advocates
Finally, think about how you can utilize your most loyal customers to do your online marketing for you. Social media, in recent years, has completely changed the way people make recommendations and share experiences. With the constant bombardment of marketing messages and with a whole internet of opinions, feedback, rants and even the occasional praise at our fingertips, we just have to turn to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for advice. With social media platforms, a business can be made or broken in a matter of minutes. The massive adoption of social media media networks online has also changed the way we make purchasing decisions. Businesses of all sizes, no matter how small or inexperienced, can capitalize on that. And the best thing of all is that these social recommendations are super-targeted, personal and completely free.
In conclusion, big impact for your business doesn’t have to have a big budget when it comes to internet and marketing. Success is in being consistent, relevant and accessible online. Keep these factors in mind and you’ll be well on your way to succeeding in using the internet to create an effective, professional and winning window display for your offline business.