Deciding to venture off and be a new business owner is an exciting time. Albeit exciting, any existing or new business owner knows that the first stage of opening your new business is tough, painful, risky, requires long hours, and can be stressful at times.
You are trying to get your business off the ground and you start to realize that prioritizing your time will be a challenge. Where do you spend your time? Is it in business development? Maybe you should set up a good accounting system to avoid future pains, or maybe you should spend some time hiring because getting the right people at this stage is key.
Getting caught up in the whirl wind of necessary activities leaves very little time for important but non-urgent activities. We all fall for it. Establishing your online presence as a new business owner at the beginning stages is crucial to have long term success.
Below you will find some items to do in order to establish your online presence as a new business owner.
Get a website
Don’t push it aside for later. It takes time to develop your online presence and the longer you push this aside, the longer it will take for you to be found.
Nearly 50% of small businesses in Canada do not have a website. Here is what they are missing out on:
- 95% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. Appearing on popular search engines like Google are directly associated to your website. (Source: searchengineland.com)
- Your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide information to your consumers
- Businesses that do not have a website lack credibility. If a potential consumer wants to know more about you but can’t find you online, they might second guess doing business with you.
- Competitors that have websites are taking business away from you
I’m sure there are a dozen or more reasons why you need a website, but we’ll save that for another day.
Create high quality content on your website
When the Internet first came about and businesses were creating websites, they treated them more like an an online brochure. It was effective back in the day but now websites are best utilized for more than just who you are and what you offer.
You’ve probably heard this before, but here it is again, content is king.
Having a section on your website for a blog or original articles tailored to to your audience will allow you to create a community of people that will keep coming back for more.
Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.
Let’s not forget the benefits of Google loving relevant content and making it available for searchers to find giving you even more people that know people to join your community. The organic momentum from this compounds to something greater than you could have ever imagined.
Get on social media
Social media is not just about liking pictures and entertaining yourself. If you’re a small business owner, there are a variety of reasons to get onto social media.
A staggering 67% of the population in Ontario, Canada use social media. Those that use Facebook specifically spend on average 40 minutes a day on this social platform.
Outside of the large audience, having a social media presence helps with brand awareness, loyalty and authority. Consumers and search engines will establish more trust behind your brand when you’re available on social media.
Similar to your website, having a presence on social media isn’t just about showcasing who you are and what you do. Remember that cool content that you are producing on your website? Share it on social media! Your reach will now exponentially increase.
Being available on social also gives you the opportunity to improve your customer service. Giving consumers a platform to express delights and frustrations gives you, the business owner, a chance to show gratitude and gain valuable feedback. Those that are upset will allow you to try and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.
There are quite a bit of platforms you can choose to establish your social media presence. Don’t try to get on every platform. Find what works for you and your industry and stay active. It’s better to have one social media account and be hyper active vs being on 4 and not being active.
Register your company and website on business directories
Staying consistent with various points made in this article, registering on online business directories helps to further increase your online presence.
Ultimately, you want to be found online and there are a plethora of directories that you can register on. There are free ones and paid ones, so do your due diligence on finding the right one for your business. Here is a good list of online directories to check out.
Once you establish your website and social media accounts with relevant content you can point these sources to these directories. In turn, these directories will work on your behalf to point consumers to you.
You will now be accessible, visible and reputable once you tie all of these components together.
Remember, getting your online presence may seem non-urgent but it is very important. It is a lot of hard work that requires nurturing in order to develop but the rewards will be well worth the time.
The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor made solution that builds a long lasting relationship with your consumers.