As a small business owner, you may be caught up in the decision of whether to take your business online or not. That’s quite normal, because most small business owners aren’t able to see the benefits of establishing an online presence because they simply don’t understand what the benefits are.
Consumer confidence in online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds every year in U.S. A report from Statista reveals that number of online shoppers is expected to grow up to 175 million in 2016.
This statistic alone suggests how developing a strong online presence can benefit your business, but that’s not all because there are more advantages that can be reaped.
Here are the battle-tested benefits for developing an online presence:
- Unlimited exposure
Ever thought what customers do when they can’t find your office building in the street mentioned on the business card? They simply move on and search for someone else offering the same products and services (unless of course you’re offering something that’s not available anyplace else).Online presence gives unlimited exposure to your business. Your small business website will serve as a name card for those surfing the Internet as it’s likely to contain the contact information and a street map. This will lead to customer retention as well as allow you to build relationships with new customers.
- Save money on marketing and advertising
Traditional advertising is expensive. Sally and her husband run a restaurant business in the suburbs of New York. During the first 6 months, they relied on traditional marketing and promotion to attract customers. While they did get results, the cost soon started to grow with the needs of their business growth.They later went online and developed their restaurant website, social media profiles and started participating in local listings and communities. Their costs of promotion went down drastically.You can save money spent on traditional advertising tools by being present online. The best thing perhaps is that startup promotional costs are quite low and scalable depending on the needs of your business.
- A global community
The Internet gives you a chance to build a global community, a community that expands beyond the confines of the home country or city where your small business is located. Forever 21, Apple. and other big brands are riding high on success because they have a global community that interacts, shares and promotes their businesses.
While you can’t expect to build a strong community within a year or two, you can do well and engage with people if you start early. You can either create a social media community or a forum-based community that talks about your business.The benefits of building an online community is that it empowers the people to promote your business, increase brand awareness, build customer trust and increases engagement between the company and customers.
These are only SOME of the benefits for a small business of having an online presence. Several other advantages are there and it’s upon you to explore them.