The influence of the World Wide Web on businesses of all scales is more than it has been ever before. Internet is has become a prominent resource for marketing, sales and customer relationship. However, despite the significance of online presence, considerable numbers of enterprises, especially small ones, do not have a website. In fact, a recent research revealed that a whopping 60% of all small enterprises in the UK do not have a website. The state of backward countries can be imagined.
Curiosity or unawareness towards the significance of online existence is the most common response that small business owners have. Business in Beauty, Driving, Fitness, Plumbing and other service niches are considered completely offline and independent of internet. However, the services are completely offline but the reach depends upon all communication media, the most expansive of which is the internet. Indeed, small enterprises do not have the privilege and resources to strategize their businesses online. However, there are certain simple steps that can be adopted to expand accessibility and improve local connection, both of which ultimately reflect on the business.
Accessibility – There is no other medium that facilitates more flexible communication than internet. People get online according to their suitability and a website provides them accessibility to the information regarding a business that they require. A simple web design has easily searchable relevant information while a complex website fully facilitates e-commerce. Thus, enterprises that have websites always have an edge as prospective customers are able to learn about their business, get further contact details, etc.
Locality – Not every web design has to address the needs of globalisation. In fact, improved localisation is rather the success route for small businesses. Being readily available for regular and potential local customers gradually increases the reliability of the enterprise and frequency of customers. Building relationship with local people, getting indexed at local listing sites and online networking group, building partnership with other businesses, etc. are the key benefits of websites.
Relevant Channel – Indeed, a website marks the online presence of an enterprise. But, there are millions of website at the World Wide Web and millions of visitors who access them. In such a situation, the web design has to be good enough to be recognisable and appreciable on the specific channels where most prospective customers are. Small enterprises cannot afford to invest on irrelevant channels due to limited resources.
Promotion via customers – The introduction of various social media online has simplified business promotion. Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, which are the most prominent social platforms, can be exploited to make customers online marketers for the business. These media are used by people to obtain reviews and feedback from others. Recommendations and opinions on social networks are free and totally personal, which is why they are highly dependable for users. Besides they are super targeted and can make or break business quickly.
Conclusively, online presence does not mean spending lump sum on web design and online marketing. Rather, the key to online success are accessibility, consistency and relevance.