Not so long ago if you wanted to check when a certain movie was playing, you’d grab your local paper for show times. If you wanted to find someone to remodel your kitchen, you’d open up the yellow pages.
But for most people, these days, those ways are as outdated as an eight track tape.
Research shows 97% of consumers across all age brackets use the internet to research local products and services before making a significant purchasing decision. Yet only 53% of small businesses have a website, and 48% don’t use any type of social media.
The internet allows you to introduce yourself to customers exactly when they are searching for your business. It allows you to be “available” to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are many reasons why even the smallest businesses would benefit from a web presence. Here are 4 key things to consider:
1. Visibility – with more customers logging on to research products and services, if they are going to find your business, your business has to be on the web.
2. Customer Service – when customers can logon to your website and easily find the information they are looking for, when they are looking for it, their satisfaction increases.
3. Credibility- when you can point customers, vendors, even potential employees to a website it tells them you are a serious business.
4. Competition- a professional looking website can level the playing field for a small business competing against the big box guys.
Don’t be afraid to make your move to the online community. Your website can be a work in progress. At the very least, you should start out with a “business card” website that contains the basic information about your company (name, logo, location, contact information and a short description of products or services). Then as time permits you can expand your site.
Social media plays an important part of your online presence as well, so don’t ignore it. In this day and age, customer and potential customers want engagement, and social media allows them to interact with you online.
Don’t miss out on those 97% of customers looking for you online by staying in the eight track era.
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