I don’t think I am surprising anyone when I say that we live in a digital age. People constantly carry phones. The majority of people access social media platforms, and you can order anything your heart desires via a host of e-commerce giants. My point is that amidst living online, people also do business online. For this reason, you and your small business should also exist online. As Alex Holden highlights, “According to Google, 97 percent of consumers search for local businesses online. Your customers are online and you should be too.”
Make Your Small Business Accessible
Just because you don’t have an online presence doesn’t mean your competitor doesn’t. Don’t underestimate the fact that today’s consumers appreciate accessibility. You don’t need a variety of social media properties or a professional website, but you do need something. As Jes Gonzalez says, “Having an online presence increases accessibility for your clients or consumers. It’s an effortless way for them to browse prices and hours and compare all these factors with your competition with a simple click. And it’s important that it’s effortless—nothing should take too long to load, and nothing should be difficult to find.” I understand how important time and effort is when you launch a business, but consider that the time it takes you to get your brand right online may also be what makes or breaks your business.
Customers Rarely Search more than a Google Search
Sure, you may not work in the e-commerce realm. That being said, the vast majority of your new customers are still going to look for you online. Nowadays word of mouth only goes so far. Instead, you need to also create a digital buzz about your work. As Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle says, “The reality is consumers – likely even you – turn to the internet to discover what to do, where to go, who to buy things from and more. Keeping this in mind, shopping online isn’t the only reason people go online. Instead, being online leverages multiple avenues for small businesses to gain visibility among consumers.”
Simplified Selling at a Lower Price
Marketing materials add up fast. Similar approaches though via the internet can often speak to a wider audience and still eliminates the cost of materials. In addition, there are a ton of varying online (and often free) approaches to marketing that might not be feasible for a small business without going digital. Jane Williams explains, “ A well-written piece of copy for your products or services on your website allow buyers to make a more relaxed, informed decision to purchase, as opposed to feeling pressured by a possible pushy salesperson. Marketing your business is also easier and more far reaching, as the electronic format allows for a wider, more cost-effective distribution as opposed to traditional marketing, which usually included printing and mailing costs.” The price cuts alone seem like an obvious choice for small businesses because every penny counts.