13 Great Reasons WHY Any Business Must Have an Online Presence
Today, it’s absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. Traditional “brick and mortar” business owners may ask: “Why should I take my traditional (physical locationed) business online?”
The simple answer is: Your customers and potential customers are expecting to see you online. Even if your business doesn’t conduct business online. By getting your business online you’ll reap major benefits.
If they don’t see you there, you could be losing out on the opportunity to increase your customer base and get the word out about your business.
READ the Reasons Why You Need an Online Presence
(Expecially a Website)…
1. Improving Your Business’ Reputation
Reputation is critical to a business. A business that acts in an unethical way suffers on many levels including financial (fines, loss of revenue), valuation decreases, branding (distrust) and public relations.
It means that managing your company’s reputation especially online has never been so important. Trust is the cornerstone of a successful business and once a brand loses trust with its customers, it can take years to recover if ever.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”
2. Improving Your Business’ Image
This alone should be enough reason to have a updated or new website and have an online presence.
In business, image is everything. If your business image isn’t right, you’re not going to be getting the triumphant results that other businesses will be getting. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is. The image you present to your audience will make the biggest difference in how well you do.
Managing your company’s reputation especially online has never been so important.
It’s an extremely important factor considering that without a website, blog, or online presence prospective clients could begin to wonder how serious you are about business. Today, business of all sizes and industries are establishing a successful online presence.
If you don’t have an online presence (and a professional one to boot) then you can’t expect your prospects to take you seriously. You’ll lose business to competitors that do have an effective online presence.
So get an online presence because your prospects and customers expect you to have one.
Need to improve an existing business image?
Here’s 11 important ways you can do so right now!:
1. Build an incredible website
2. Express your company values openly
3. Focus on creating the highest quality product or offering the best service
4. Make sure your staff act and look the part (Online & Offline)
5. Share your expertise for free
6. Develop a strong social media presence
7. Make sure customers know how important they are to you
8. Don’t neglect to treat your staff with the same respect
9. Be consistent in all of your efforts
10. Find ways to strengthen your brand
11. Become more eco friendly – do this for the right reason!
3. Make it Easier to Market Your Brand
They are also some of the most cost effective methods of sending out information to thousands of people. Online marketing is extremely important for all businesses because it has a huge influence on the way consumers make purchasing decisions.
Moderns customers have even indicated that they look at companies in a negative light if they cannot find them online.
Using the internet for marketing purposes allows you to overcome distance barriers. Persons thousands of miles away can be learning all about your business with just a few keystrokes.
The ‘shareability’ of social media allows your customers to easily spread the word about your business to all their friends. Ultimately, online marketing gives you the opportunity to market your brand in creative and exciting ways.
4. Live / Work from Anywhere
Taking your business online gives you the ability to have location freedom so you can live and work from anywhere you want; you’re not stuck to a physical location. So if you don’t like the year long weather you can move.
With few exceptions, the internet reduces your need to “be” somewhere. Live where you want to, and let your business adapt to your lifestyle instead of the other way around. There are some notable exceptions, like landscapers, surgeons and home painters who must be in a specific location to perform their work.
As long as you have a solid internet connection you can live virtually anywhere while you conduct your online business.
Of course, as appealing as this all sounds, having an online business is not for everyone. There are many reasons you should not start an online business and keep your day job or traditional business.
5. Very Low Start-up Costs
Starting out online means very low startup costs. You have no buildings to construct, no vehicles to buy and few (if any) staff to hire.
Simply build your site, put your products on it, and then market it to get website leads.. If you are already selling offline then the transition can be very smooth. You can continue selling the same products that you know and have a good supply of.
By putting your business online you’re be accessing a new source of customers.
You might think this is too technical for you… The reality is you can outsource a lot of the technical stuff and even things such as social media marketing.
While you could spend tens of thousands of dollars developing the best website and e-commerce solution many of your competitors will be doing it on a shoestring budget.
To get started on a shoestring budget, be expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
The basic expenses include: web hosting, WordPress theme, domain name, and email marketing autoresponder service. Once its all set up it will require very little attention. You can make regular updates yourself or just pay someone to make updates for you as needed.
Now a good website can be designed simply and for very little money.
That can be done by using a free open-sourced platform like WordPress and a quality theme. A website with almost no coding. You can build a professional site by yourself or get someone to do it for you and just keep it updated yourself.
6. Reduce Operation Costs
Just one single task can make a significant difference in cost savings. For example, receiving orders online reduces the need for customer service staff.
With comprehensive sales and product information online, you’ll simply receive purchase orders and payments via email or into your database. Staff numbers can be reduced, thus office space and related office expenses.
A really good sales video, sales letter, or online webinar presentation can replace a full-time salesperson.
Making use of various online service providers you can now take all aspects of your business online, such as purchasing, billing, order fulfillment, and shipping. Other functions can include pre-emptive customer service—such as answering client questions via a FAQ section or a customer forum.
7. 24/7 365 Hour Availability
A key benefit to having your business online is that your clients and prospects can read about your products and place orders at any time — day or night. On regular business days or holidays. Imagine what being open 3-4 times longer could do for your business.
Even if you have a traditional offline services type business you can generate leads and inquiries while you are closed. Then follow up with those prospects and customers once you open the next day.
Or have a PA in different parts of the world that can follow up prospects and customers 24/7.
8. The Internet Was Made for Business
Today, if someone wants more information about a business, they’re most likely Google it.
Whether they’re specifically looking for your business, or they just want to find any company that offers the products or services that your company offers, having an online presence will give you a competitive edge.
Potential customers will not put a lot of effort into finding you, and they should not have to. A Google search should provide them with all the information they seek.
This tool has made it easier for potential customers to come to you.
The beauty of the internet is that your prospective client(s) can literally be just one click away from your online store. Through the internet, you can now educate, instruct and solve clients problems. You can accept orders and payments and receive them directly to your inbox.
To make the internet really work for your business you’ll want to learn about new effective and inexpensive ways to drive traffic to your website. The more people who find you online the more leads and sales you’ll make.
In the past people were hesitant to do business over the internet, but today it’s as common as tapping your card to a credit card reader at a physical location.
10. Make it Easier to Showcase Your Products and Services
The Internet gives businesses an effective platform for showcasing what they have to offer. Whether it’s a portfolio and testimonials from clients on a website, or an album on a Facebook page with photos of your newest products, it has never been easier to let the world know what you have to offer.
With a few simple clicks, your customers can see what you’re all about. They can even do this outside of business hours! An online presence is an extension of your brand that never sleeps.
11. Better Customer Support
The internet allows you to answer questions, give sales webinars, and solve customer problems—all without taking any of your time.
Create a service/ product video or a FAQ (frequently asked question) section once, and you can direct clients to that information for years.
Not only does it save you time, but you’ll be providing better service. Your clients and prospects are looking for specific information, such as:
- Before they make a buying decision
- To solve a problem with an existing purchase
- Researching alternatives before making a buying decision
With an online presence, you can give them just the information that they are looking for, and just when they are looking for it. This means fewer phone calls with technical questions and more sales. You can spend more time working on the revenue generating activities in your business and spend less time handling common customer service issues.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to develop a relationship and increase sales.
12. Make it Easier to Build Relationships with Customers and Potential Customers
Social media is all about building relationships. This is true for both individuals and businesses. Social media gives your brand a voice – it makes your company more “human” and relatable.
Customers and potential customers can interact with your brand on a more personal level. It also gives you the opportunity to truly get to know your customers. If everyone is on social media except you, you are missing out on an invaluable opportunity to connect and communicate with your target audience.
Social media is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get persons interested in your company and to form real relationships with real people.
13. Increase Business Responsiveness
The internet allows you to deliver your proposal, purchase order, order confirmation quickly—in many cases instantly—to your clients. Online stores will process orders and confirm them to the client. In the olden days, purchase orders were called in, mailed or dropped off.
Depending on the workload of the sales staff, it could have taken hours, or even days to process the order. With a competent online store application, you can automatically track inventory, sales numbers, outstanding orders – everything. Faster response time means happier clients and less administrative work for you.
There is much said about doing business on the internet or ‘putting your business online.’ Above are just some of the most powerful reasons your business should have an online presence.
Modern businesses must ensure that they are not left behind. An online presence is one of the most important investments that a business can make. The internet is a powerful tool to reach more prospects and turn them into qualified leads and customers; with many of the processes being completely automated.
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