Going online or establishing a web presence is one of the important aspects most ignored by small businesses. Even in a developed country like the US, it is shocking to note that more than half of the small businesses do not have a business website, despite high penetration and usage of the Internet. Many industry experts opine that, it is ignorance among the small business owners regarding the benefits of small businesses that is making them stay away from such an effective method of business promotion.
The down trend of traditional media
Gone are the days when people used to search phone books and newspapers to find businesses. Phone book listing has become less effective as very few people refer to them anymore. If you are still using the same old methods, your advertising expenditure is just going in vain.
Your prospects are looking for you on Internet
As per the latest estimates, nearly 2.27 billion people across the globe are using the Internet. With easy access to the Internet, using handy devices like smart phones, tablets, iPad, netbooks, etc., people find the Internet as a feasible media to shop from anywhere and at anytime. The statistical survey by Nielsen also reveals the same – almost half, 49.7%, of U.S. mobile subscribers own a smart phone. Further, a Google survey also revealed that 80% of the smart phone users use their phone for shopping and shopping related activities while 67% use them to do a product search. So, if you are not online, your business does not exist for these huge number of prospective customers.
Small businesses should go online –
- To introduce business to the Internet users: Many small business owners assume that small businesses do not require a website. They believe that building and maintaining a website requires a lot of resources in terms of money, time, and effort. But, having a website is the best way to introduce their businesses to the Internet users. The cost of setting up a website, as they assume, is also not expensive. They can get a professionally designed website at affordable price. And the kind of exposure the website provides to a business is of much higher value than anything else.
- To gain local as well as global exposure: Unlike traditional advertising, which confines your exposure to local markets, promotion on the Internet has no boundaries. You can serve local as well as the international audience using the same platform. You can advertise your product or service to potential global customers without having to go abroad. Further, it enables you to expand your business by establishing an e-commerce platform.
- Because it is inexpensive: Marketing on the Internet for your small business does not entail costs as heavy as those do in traditional marketing methods. You can promote your business via popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. They charge minimal advertising prices. Different affordable Internet marketing methods like email marketing, pay per click campaigns, display advertising, social media marketing, etc. will help you become viral on the Internet.
- Because promotion on Internet is flexible: Promotion on the Internet is convenient. You can update your advertisements or promotional campaigns based on the industry/market trends. You can include special offers/year-end sales, etc. or make changes to the descriptions of products/services, whenever you want. This is not only cost effective, but also enables you to reach your prospective client with the correct and most up-to-date information about your business.
Thus, considering these factors, small businesses should go online. It is easy and hassle free. If you are a newbie, it is sensible to take help of an expert Internet marketing company to make your Internet debut a big success.