The other day, I was hunting for somebody who could thread my brows (which sounds scarier than it was). I was searching the day before I had to attend a fancy event. The first place, which was recommended to me by a friend, could not take me, as the lady was only in during the second half of the week, much to my dismay. What was I to do?
Why your business needs an online presence
Here’s the point: having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. I was happy to book an appointment because I was able to find the website and all the product and service information effortlessly. Further, I booked my appointment online, at a business I’d never heard about, in a building I’d never seen. That day, the owner secured a new customer that she wouldn’t have had otherwise, and, most important, I didn’t have to look like Bigfoot for my event.
Thank goodness she had an up-to-date website? Having an online business isn’t only beneficial for you– it’s also one of the best things you can do for your customers.
I clicked the website and quickly found an online booking option, which was great, as I can be a little phone shy. After checking the prices and the hours of operation online with a few simple clicks, I booked the appointment. I received an email verification minutes later and headed out to find the place– it looked like an apartment building.
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While it’s true that many small businesses don’t have a ton of resources or a lot of time to spend building an online presence, having no time is no problem. The actual website can be quite simple, and all it needs is a little sprucing up every now and again, including the aesthetics and the actual content. Setting up a few social media sites will help you to alert your clients and customers about updates, and even if you can only post once every couple of weeks, you’ll soon build authority online.
No big deal for me, but bam! One Google search and that small business owner secured a new customer.
I went to Google and typed in the appropriate search terms, holding my breath. Please, oh please, let something come up so I don’t look like a werewolf in all the event photos, I begged. The first result was the place I had already called, but the second I had never heard of before.
Confused, I pulled out my phone, which verified that I had arrived at the correct location. I hopped up the steps to the second floor and, lo and behold, there was a sign for the shop. After going in, one of the first things the owner said was, “How did you find me today? Just curious.” Without really even thinking about it, I replied, “Oh, I just Googled you.”
The time dedicated to building an online presence for your business is time well spent. Here are five reasons why it’s so important to build an online presence, especially if you’re a small business owner:
- An online presence enhances accessibility
A huge reason to build an online presence is because your competition is probably building an online presence. Even worse, they’ll likely come across your competition and take a look at them online instead of seeking you out offline.
Having an online presence increases accessibility for your clients or consumers. And it’s important that it’s effortless– nothing should take too long to load, and nothing should be difficult to find.
- An online presence reaches a wider audience
An online presence also allows the customer to come to you. Even when you’re closed, customers will be able to purchase goods and services online.
Enabling your business to reach the widest audience possible will only be beneficial. The best part? When customers like what they see, they’re willing to share the news of your products and services with others. Allowing these secondary customers to see that your site is up-to-date will ensure that you come across as professional. To enhance this, having active social media accounts will allow your products and services to be shared easily between customers, and then you’ll have even more customers coming to your site. Win-win!
- An online presence builds customer relationships and trust
The beauty of having a site, blog, and social media accounts is that they enable reviews and comments about your products. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.
It’s better to know about an unhappy client so you can make amends and carry your name forward, rather than having an angry customer share their distaste for your business without you even knowing they were unhappy in the first place. If you’re not forgiven, at least other clients and customers can see that you tried and that you’re willing to do everything in your power to keep customers happy.
- An online presence enables effortless marketing
Selling your products and services becomes an effortless process thanks to your online presence. Even at night, customers will be buying.
Not only is the process no longer limited, but it’s also never-ending (in a good way!). Marketing yourself online can cost as much or as little as you decide. You don’t have to mail out flyers or coupons; you can simply share them with the click of a button. You can advertise your products and services for free across your social media sites and on your blog. And, if you focus on improving your SEO, then the search engines will work in your favor.
- An online presence shows you what works– and what doesn’t.
Finally, an online presence allows you to see the effects of all these efforts. Tracking the metrics of your site and social media accounts is quite simple. You’ll be able to see numerical proof of what works and what doesn’t. If you share a new blog post and see a huge spike in visits, then you’ll know you’ve hit on some content that your audience likes to see. Being able to see the results of your efforts will allow you to make improvements in every aspect of your business.
Here’s the point: having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. While it’s true that many small businesses don’t have a ton of resources or a lot of time to spend building an online presence, having no time is no problem. A huge reason to build an online presence is that your competition is probably building an online presence. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.
Building an online presence isn’t just beneficial to growing a small business– it’s absolutely essential. By creating a blog, maintaining your site, and becoming active in social media, you’ll be more accessible to a wider audience. You’ll also build consumer trust and be able to market effortlessly. Best of all, you’ll always be able to make improvements in all these areas.
Building an online presence isn’t just beneficial to growing a small business– it’s absolutely essential.