6 Tips for Small Business Success on the Internet
One of the more interesting developments of the Internet over the last decade is that it has allowed mid-sized and small businesses web success in that they can more easily compete with larger companies by expanding their reach.
At the same time however, there is a pitfall in that knowledge because many of the small and mid-sized business owners have been led to believe that any message delivered is the right one. The “instantaneous” aspect of the internet makes proper communication in the form of content and messaging very important as proper and improper use of both has caused some businesses to grow quickly while others fold just as fast.
When used properly, the internet can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Here are our top tips for ensuring that your business grows:
Tips for Small Market Web Success
To clarify, the term small business and small market are relative to the industry you are in. A small business does not always mean you are a singular entity. It might be that you have a decent sized company that is competing against a Fortune 500 behemoth. These tips will be useful for a variety of business that may consider themselves small or medium sized.
- Social Media Use – Social media is a great marketing tool. Ideally it should be used to build a relationship with your target audience. Some businesses make a mistake by trying to use social media as a place for immediate sales, which is viewed by many audiences as intrusive because they don’t want to see that in their social media outlets. Social media needs to focus on the brand.
- Website Use – The idea of a website originally was similar to having a nice brochure. You had some company information along with a few other flashy aspects but now a website is much more vital. In many cases a website will be the only interaction with a client which makes it a huge factor in marketing, communications and sales. That means your website needs to be able to accomplish all of those goals and accomplish them well and not just be “okay”.
- The Mobile Aspect – The target audience for your business should dictate if you either need to have an app or some type of easy to use mobile features. Nobody should ever just create an app to have one. If your customers are primarily consumer product based then you should certainly think about it more as you want to be connected to those consumers’ mobile devices for when they decide they need to buy something. The same would go for providing a service that people would want provided while on a mobile device for convenience.
- Online Strategy – Building a successful web presence is all about proper strategy. Some small and mid-sized businesses fall into the trap of creating a web presence which is all about them. In fact, your web presence should be all about the intended viewer of your information which generally is your target audience. It is like being a good bartender. You don’t just mix up drinks and start handing them out to customers at random. You need to listen to customers to understand what it is they want otherwise you are providing the wrong drink for the wrong situation.
- Online Marketing – The most important aspects of marketing online today needs to be honesty and delivery to the customer in a way that satisfies a perceived benefit is being met. Honesty directly relates to passion for a product or service. The perceived benefit is why a customer will even bother paying attention. When you combine those two factors; fulfilling a need with an honest, passionate response, you will have a more successful campaign.
- Importance of Website Platform – Often a website is now the first and only interaction your business has with a client. It is like being on a first date where that first impression can set the tone and then if they stick around, a lasting impression will determine how long the relationship lasts. You need to be careful with the message you are putting out there. Are you just talking about yourself the whole time? Or are you listening to your date and communicating?
Over the next few years marketing will change because of continual innovations and expansion in the realm of electronic communications. Companies that take advantage of what is available now and stay on top of future changes to maximize their reach along with learning how to embed their brand into the landscape of the internet will continue to do well, while those who don’t simply won’t.
The beauty of the internet is that it does create a fairly level playing field and that aspect can be taken advantage of by smart mid-sized and small businesses for web success.