January 6, 2015
If you are not online, you are much like the undead. It is not exactly that the vital signs of your business have ceased to be, but you simply walk around this world as a shadow. Those businesses that have not launched a website and joined the Web business race are not as likely to survive. A tailor in a small village might be able to work and survive without an Internet site, but his or her colleague from a bigger town will fall behind their fellow tailors if he or she does not hook on the Web, too. Conditions and context also dictate if a small business needs online presence.
Lots of experience, lack of IT knowledge
Many people are still skeptical about getting out of the offline closet and beginning their Internet presence. Even if they understand how much that would improve their business in general, they are still of two minds on the issue. The biggest problem is their fear of technology and lack of knowledge about the way the Internet works. If you belong to this group of middle-aged entrepreneurs, have a look at reasons why you should have a website and what to pay attention to when launching one.
The biggest advantage of people who have been in business of any kind for 10 or more years is their experience. A survey proves that experienced business-owners tend to start a business that makes a difference. Their knack for innovations and the innate feeling for business they have are perfect for the online world. But they have to be cautious and get to know the most important features of online business.
Performance affects conversions
Since entrepreneurs usually think in an open-minded way, they will quickly realize their website needs to be only an extended hand of their offline business. What matters in the offline world, matters online, as well. If your shop window is dirty or slovenly decorated, people will not enter your store. The same goes for your website; if it is too slow or unresponsive for gadgets, people will just skip your site and go to the next one in their browser. To get round that, every business owner who is a new kid on the Internet block has to know that two things matter more than others: site performance and security. When performance is in question, you have to sign a reliable server provider. The speed at which your site will respond to visits depends on the server and its features. Apart from ordinary servers, a great option for a new small business online could be high-quality virtual server host. Opting for such a solution could cover many features — the speed of the site, the security of the server and Web hosting that your site needs. The fewer problems your clients experience when visiting your site, the more of them will stay there and come back again. That will lead to a higher conversion rate.
Momentum of social networks
For every small business that becomes a new member of the online community, it goes without saying that being active on social networks is a must-do. All social groups, such as Faceboook or Instagram, are incredibly easy to use. Just as a private person opens an account, the same goes for a business. Even better, for those who still do not want to launch their own website, creating an account on any of the social groups is a great first start. Whether you produce something or just sell it, you can post special offers to your profile and add pictures for a better impression. That way you can boost your network of clients and generate more leads, which could be absolutely fantastic for your small business.
Anyone who tries to launch his or her own social media profile for the sake of the small business promotion should be aware of the number of people from Alaska to Australia trying to do the same. That means that it is not enough only to write “my new… (something)” or anything generic in a post describing such a novelty. Social media users are not that naïve anymore. It is like the world Spartacus and Game of Thrones. You need to be extremely witty and genuine to be able to attract people to become interested in and buy your produce and survive the Web battle. That is why everybody who wants to start online small business advertising through online social groups needs to create amusing and wise-cracking one-liners or interesting short descriptions, as well as original photos, too. Sending e-mails, SMS or MMS about special offers and discounts that your business gives to your most loyal clients could turn out to be a fruitful mini-campaign, too. It is also a part of modern networking. When you have mastered all these skills, you can launch your own website.
Moving online is never an easy task. Many things must be considered before a small-business owner makes such a decision. Launching a website is not a small investment for a small business. It requires constant maintenance and supervision, which come at a cost. But no one should be afraid of the Internet. If you have managed to lead an offline business successfully, an online presence will be a piece of cake for you. And as time goes by, there will be more and more pieces for your business, which will bring you a financial gain, as well.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with 11 years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of eCommerce companies. He is also a co-author on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.