Have you ever sat down and thought about having an online presence as a small business owner?
It happened to me about 4 years ago and I started to find out:
- What is actually having an online business presence means
- Why my business need a proper online presences.
- How it will effect the way I do business
Online Presence Means
Before I started exploring what is actually online presence means, I had a simple few pages static website with few visitors here and there. Actually most small business websites are still no more than a online brochure.
Basics are the same for doing business as ever before. Just the tools we use to do business changing at a great pace due to the emergence of new technology. In current environment online presence means having at least the following:
- Facebook Business Page
- Twitter Account
- Google Places
- To me these are the bare minimum for a reasonable online presence. Please note result depends how well you use these tools. Having online presence only will not generate business for you. It is just like opening a high street shop does not guarantee that you will get business. New business generation depends on how well you market your shop online or offline.
Therefore, customers are getting more and more demanding and want to interact with the businesses using new communication tools before they decide to buy. For this you need a two way communication tools such as website with a blog and social media properties such as Facebook page and twitter account.
Why Small Businesses Need Online Presence
World has changed whether you accept it or not.
Vast majority of customers do not look for phone directories or yellow pages any more when looking for new product and services. Because customers wants to see what other people say about any business they are going to do business with.
This is not possible to find out from phone directory or yellow pages alone.
Therefore, people find businesses online and like to check reviews before deciding to do business with any one.
They are expecting smart phone users reaching to one billion by 2013. Can you ignore this number? I doubt it.
Customers find businesses on the smart phone and if you are not on there you are missing out big time.
How It Will Effect Your Business
Your brick and mortar only business has geographical boundaries, whereas online presence give you the freedom to sell potentially across the globe as long as you can deliver.
Some of the benefits of having a good online presence
1. Power to sell more through another powerful channel
2. Potential to sell all over the world
3. Social Media tools help word of mouth marketing
4. Potential of make a system and sell on auto pilot
5. Low operating expense compare to brick & mortar business
I am sure you can add to the benefits list if you are already leveraging internet to increase your business.
You May Have Different Views
These are my views and you may have different point of view. Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below.
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