Why does my business need to be online?
In the last few years, a study from Statista showed that 70% of small businesses have plans to go digital, meaning the ones that aren’t, are already being left behind. Of course, it depends on your industry, but the consensus is that businesses with an online presence see a drastic increase in revenue, compared with non-digital competitors.
It’s not just about being online either, the follow-up credibility can mean you charge higher prices, reach wider audiences or even some of the following:
How many times have you typed in ‘good local barbers’, ‘best takeaway near me’, or one of a million different searches for small businesses.
With an online presence, you’ll be right at the top whenever a customer searches for your service. This increases recognition of your brand, great reviews go public, and you can gain the confidence of your clients. Then the next time someone searches for any local business, you’ll be at the front of their mind.
A website allows you to have 24/7 interaction with your customers and answer any questions straight away- without taking up any of your time! Through FAQ sections, your prospective clients can find out information such as:
· How to resolve issues with purchases
· What makes your company better than competitors
· Where they can find you on the high street
Operating offline means you could be limited in the number of prospects that find you, let alone know you exist! With an online presence you’ll literally be targeting everyone, and if your product/ services are genuinely great, imagine the number of potential sales!
With thousands of extra leads, your company could have access to so many more returning clients and where progress may have been restricted, the barriers could be broken. When combined with social media channels, you could create an ecosystem for clients digitally and make sure they know who you are.
Reduced operating costs
Transitioning your business to the digital world can automate so much of your current process. For example, if you’re a law firm without a website you’ll need staff to speak with prospective clients about their specific needs and try to match them with the right solicitor. With an online information page, clients can see who the available solicitors are, their services and straight away send emails detailing their situation.
Through automation and an online message sending service, phone calls can be reduced, staff won’t need to get involved as much and office expenses will drastically decrease.
Understand customers better
Analytics are so important when it comes to improving your business. Once you’ve got your site set up, you’ll be able to see where clients are when they click on your page, what products they spend most time looking at, and which email campaigns had the most success.
Using this information, you’ll be able to see what your hero products are, what demographic your typical customers are, then position your company to focus on its strengths and mitigate any weaknesses.
Let’s say you’re already booked up with clients, everyone talks about your business through word-of-mouth, and you don’t have time to take on more customers, how do you expand digitally?
This could be the perfect opportunity to use the internet for growing in other ways. Showcase your ability through a portfolio and get client testimonials out there, let people know what you can get done, and the differences your product/ service can make to them. This creates more demand for your business, meaning larger clients, increased pricing, and better revenue.
Low cost solutions
If you’re already operating offline, it’s quite easy to start your online presence with a few simple pages not costing more than a few hundred pounds. Whilst you could put everything into building a website, you really don’t need to. A lot of our SME clients actually see a full return within a couple of months of launching.
Once it’s live, you’ll reap the benefits of a simple online platform, and if you don’t see a return, just cancel your subscription to the web host!
Raise start-up awareness
If you’re a new entrepreneur just starting your first business, a low-cost website could be the place to showcase your idea and start discovering your customers.
For example, if you want to build an app, landing pages are a great place to promote what it is and how it works. An app landing page that we worked on, www.a-pay.co.uk was focused on their branding and getting the thoughts of potential users.
Using the landing page, they were able to promote the app, whilst explaining the features it would have on launch. There were options for visitors to submit forms, subscribe to a mailing list and get notified when the app launches. 3 months after the site went live, there were over 250 mailing list sign ups and marketing was happening (prelaunch) about the benefits of the app.