With the recent downturn in the financial climate, many business owners are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to bring in more business; the same old marketing routine that they’ve used for years is no longer working for them.
The truth is, even if you run a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ business, it’s hard now to ignore the fact that you really need to get your business noticed online – in fact it is critical to your future success.
If you’re sitting on the fence, still unconvinced, look at it this way – are you finding it next to impossible to speak to your suppliers or answer general customer queries in any other way than by email? What do you use to find an address of a new contact that you’ve never travelled to before? How about your after-hours free time? I’m sure there are few people who haven’t gone online to book movie tickets or even pay a bill.
One study shows that nearly 98% of consumers will use online media when researching products or services in their local area – so if you haven’t jumped on board, chances are they are going to find your competitors long before they find you. In fact, you will be invisible to them.
We asked around and found almost no-one who actually opened up a paper directory over the last year. Even television advertising often sends us to a website to look up more information on a business product or service and then afterwards, those customers are going back online to give a review of their experience and we all know that people would rather listen to another consumer’s objective on a product or service rather than just listen to the sales pitch. Good or bad, you need to know what your customers are saying and intercede when necessary.
Many business owners are worried that they need a big budget or experience to market themselves on the internet but the fact is, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Even a really basic page that states your business name, product, opening hours and contact details will improve their chances of being found in the search engines dramatically. Especially with a consumer looking for a local business – they will be looking for a website, a Google Places listing or recommendations and reviews and be putting in your local city details and service to find you.
If you’re not ready to go the whole hog and get a website designed yet, it really is worthwhile to at least get your business listed with the big search engines and especially Google Places. The process is extremely easy and extremely worthwhile. Before long, you will find enquiries for your company’s services will jump as more and more people discover your listing.