The face of business has turned online the past few years. There used to be less competition for business and getting your name out was straightforward, hire an ad agency or go door to door introducing your business. Now the amount of business that offer similar goods and services is astonishing and it’s easy to get lost amongst them. For this reason, small-business owners have had to reevaluate the way they sell. But how do you convice prospective customers that they should choose you out of the many. Developing a strong online presence is a proactive way to do this, below are a few options open to business owners today.
Mobile devices are hardly rare now-a-days, people carry them to make their lives easier by staying connected to their business and personal life when they are on the go. Because of this many small-business owners choose to create mobile sites. These sites retain the branding that the company wants but allows for faster, easier navigation on a mobile device. Creating a mobile site makes your company more accessible to consumers.
Social sites, like Myspace, started off just social. But when Facebook came about it had a far more utilitarian interface and business caught the social site bug. Just about every business you can find has a Facebook page. Social sites allow companies to share fun and interesting content that is related to their industry with prospective clients, which creates an online community. Recently Google unveiled its business pages. This walk-though will show you how to build a Google business page. Social sites allow for such a noninvasive interaction between business and consumer I see the future of social sites as all business.
Offering educational content is another great way to reach an audience and differentiate yourself from your competitors. This can be done with blogs and webinars. On-line education shows your potential customers that you’re knowledgeable and sets you up as a thought leader in your industry. Developing trust in this way can lead to sales down the road as consumers will be visiting your blog for interesting and educational information and think of you when they need a service you provide.
While we still see store fronts and most of us like to go to a local shop and meet the owner who is working behind the counter we can’t deny that the face of business is more Web facing then street. Being aware of this and knowing why this is will make us both a more informed consumer and/or business owner. This article has some good reasons for having an on-line presence.