Is your business not attracting enough customers? Do you want to increase your profits many folds by investing very little? Do you want to increase your customer base? Are you worried about competitors stealing your customers?
The answer to all the above questions may be nonexistent or improper online presence of your business.
You might think this is irrelevant as online presence for small businesses is a relatively new concept. Additionally, you might think it’s ok to just go with traditional methods of marketing.
But, in this rapidly changing world, people who don’t adapt will be left behind. Businesses that are adamant in their ways and resisting change will definitely fail.
“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” -Max McKeown
So, in this article, I will explain Why customers prefer Small and Medium Businesses with an online presence and how you can have it too.
What is it?
Digital presence simply means the space your business( firm) owns online.
It includes websites, managing “near me” searches, social media presence, being listed in niche-specific applications.
Having a healthy online presence allows your business to be accessible from all around the world. Your business will always be just a few clicks away thanks to the internet.
So, let’s see how to maintain a healthy online presence and why customers love it.
Near me searches
In this technological age, Smartphones have become part of one’s life. With the decrease in prices of data plans, everyone is Online and reaping the benefits of the internet.
With this, the “near me” searches in GoogleMaps have exploded and will continue to increase for the next 10 years.
So, the most basic thing you as a business owner should do is register your business in Google My Business with the correct location of your store. Don’t forget to add pictures, contact info, and other relevant details. Ask your existing customers to rate your store in GoogleMaps. This will help increase the authority of your business( For Google) and also increases its authenticity in the eyes of the customer.
After listing your business in the above directories, the next thing to do is find applications that mainly focus on your kind of business.
If you own a furniture shop you can try Pepperfry. There are applications for every kind of business. Don’t join them all, find out the popular and which might help your business.
Understand what kind of service they expect from your business. Maybe you should learn about packaging products as they mention. There might be an initial charge for registration. Try to understand how they work to have a better idea of maximizing profits from them.
Keep in mind, these services take a commission of every sale that happens through their application. They also provide advertisements for a price. Check it out and decide as required.
If you have noticed, using a third party application means losing a portion of your sale as commission to them. In addition to that, your business is completely dependant on them.
The income model of these applications is to make your business completely dependant on them and then raise prices. They control everything from how your products/services are presented to deciding prices. Importantly, if they fail your business fails too. This is very dangerous in the long run and might even kill your business.
To avoid this and be independently successful, you should have your own website. You do not need to know to program, just hire a coder and get your website ready. Include all the services which you would like to offer on your website.
Inform your customers about your website and encourage them to use it. Mention your website in every service you registered your business. This lets all your customers know about your website and increases traffic.
This type of marketing is not for all kinds of business. It is most useful if your business is a niche and caters to people/companies with specific interests.
For example, if you are running a store that provides Vegan Icecreams. Then your customer base is very specific i.e., Vegans. To reach this very specific customer base, Social media can be of great help.
By maintaining an Instagram or Facebook account that posts informative (or entertaining) content about veganism, you can attract your customers. This lets your potential customers know about your business and its products. Now, you can directly be in touch with your customers and get valuable advice and feedback. This wouldn’t be possible without social media.
To maintain an online presence for your business you should be present online. This comes a long way as it helps you understand the ever-changing world of digital life.
Running a business successfully needs patience and most importantly adaptability. With the invention of the Internet, you now have the power to connect with your customers.
So, understanding the benefits of the internet and using it to one’s advantage can be the difference between success and failure.
To learn more about successful business read our article on simple mistakes of Small and Medium Business Owners