25 Oct Why You Should Take Your Business Online
Taking your business online goes deeper than simply having a pretty website. A website can be a part of your online strategy, but truly taking your business online is about using technology to connect with your customers better than ever before.
Imagine you’re the owner of a vegan bakery in Los Angeles. When a potential customer is in the mood for some vegan desserts, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? More often than not, they’re going to pull out their phone, open their preferred search engine, and search for “vegan desserts near me” or a similar query.
If you operate your business entirely offline, it will be pretty difficult for customers to find you unless they happen to be passing by or they hear about you through word-of-mouth.
Let’s say you decide to take your bakery online. Where you would start?
First, you could claim your business on Yelp and Google My Business. This step would allow your store, address, and contact information to show up in local listings, allowing people in your area to find your bakery with a simple online search. In addition, satisfied customers would be able to share positive reviews and photos from their visit to your bakery. Positive buzz about your business would then encourage new customers to drop by.
Another important step in developing your online presence is to create a website for your business. Having an updated website that’s consistent with your offline brand shows credibility and establishes your business as a legitimate place to visit. Your website does not have to be expensive or fancy by any means. What matters is that it’s easy to navigate and includes all of the necessary information a potential customer would be looking for.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a handy guide that will help you decide how to build your website.
A final component of your online strategy involves leveraging technology to increase customer interaction and understanding. More specifically, this means using social media platforms to start conversations with customers. These platforms allow you to learn about their wants, needs, pain points, and behaviors. For example, reading and responding to tweets or Yelp reviews lets the customer know you notice and value their opinions. At the same time, it serves as a learning opportunity for you as a business owner. Customers often give great insight on what you’re doing well and what could be improved.
If you haven’t started building your business’s online presence yet, it’s a good idea to start. Take things step by step and you’ll see how much of a difference being online can make.