Finding Success On The Web
Physical media used to be the beginning and end of reaching potential customers. When you wanted to make people aware of your business you could put out an ad in the newspaper, or get an enhanced listing in the yellow pages. If you were trying to attract passers-by, you could print an ad on a billboard or have sign holders wave your message to people. That was good enough for a local business back then, but also locked into the role of small business unless you invested significant resources into advertising.
Today, if you want your business to stick around, you should be online. If you want your business to grow, you MUST be online. There’s an entire universe of reasons why you should be online, but we’ll talk about 5 of the big reasons here:
Ease of Access
Having a website is the first step to reaching massive crowds of new customers. It might seem like online businesses and brick-and-mortar stores are mutually exclusive, but you should really think of a website as a companion to your store. It’s easy to make excuses to not go to the store, but being online makes “going to the store” easy for your customers. Finding a nearby location, deciding what product to purchase, learning about your values, etc. An online presence allows your customers to interact with you from home, bypassing potential excuses and helping to ensure a smoother experience when they arrive in-store.
Unlike listings in physical media, it’s easy to adapt your message and style to the current social climate with a website. Digital advertising can be paused, stopped, and changed immediately, allowing you to actively monitor and repair advertising campaigns. Rather than plopping an ad in the paper and hoping for the best, you can reach your clients through Google searches, email ads, social marketing, paid advertising, direct links, and QR codes. Whether your customer uses a smart-phone, laptop, tablet, or all 3, you’ll be able to reach them with advertisements tailored to target only the people who are likely to appreciate your business.
When a company doesn’t have a website they give off the impression of being amateur or out-of-the-loop with modern tech and current procedures. In a competitive market, the product that “seems” the best, sells the best. Part of seeming the best is having confidence. What if Apple never aired commercials, and at their conferences they said “Well, our product is about as good as the other guys”. Nobody would buy into that. Investing in a decent website is the first step in showing that your company is serious and plans to stick around. Don’t wait for word-of-mouth, lend credence to yourself and control the messaging that you want people to hear.
Even if your company is a brick-and-mortar retail store, you could still list and sell products online to a customer base that can’t make it to your physical locations. Without a digital storefront, you’ll be unable to reach international and potentially even inter-regional customers. A digital storefront lets you pick up lost sales. You might be saying “they’re not lost sales if they haven’t interacted with my store”. That’s actually the point though, they’re lost sales because they COULD have interacted with your store, but were unable to because it wasn’t available to them. Making your store available to everyone on Earth, or everyone in your country, or everyone in your region means maximising your potential sales.
Extend Your Customer Base
Newspaper readership has been falling year over year. While physical newspaper circulation plummets, digital news continues to rise. What does this mean for small business? Each year that you place an ad in the paper, your potential audience shrinks. Most small businesses don’t invest in international or even national advertising, instead opting to save money with more locally targeted advertising. With digital advertising you don’t have the complications of working with a multitude of advertising companies across the globe. One Google Adwords account can link up with your website, allowing you to track how your ads are helping your website succeed directly. At the same time, any digital advertising platform will allow you granular control over your target audience, unlike physical advertising which is more difficult to predict and control.
The benefits of an online presence are easy to observe. A website is a stepping stone to a mass audience, and a successful business. With your company’s future firmly in your hands, you’ll be glad you spent the time to build out a website and take advantage of the opportunities that grow on the tree of the internet.
54% percent of small business do not have an online presence. Let our team help you with a basic, easy to maintain web presence so you can connect with your customers!