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 number of business that offer similar goods and services is overwelming and it’s easy to get lost amongst them. For this reason, small-business owners have had to reevaluate how 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 businesses today.
Mobile devices are becoming more and more common. People carry these to make their lives less difficult as they can stay connected to their business and personal lives.. This makes commuting valuable working time rather then dead time. Unfortunatly many regular sites aren’t very readable on a mobile device because of this many businesses have mobile sites. They retain the companies branding while enabling faster, easier navigation on a mobile device. Mobile site makes your company more easily accessible to consumers.
At first social sites were just that, social, websites to connect people in a social way. Myspace was a great example of that, with its highly customizable interface. Then Facebook came out, its a lot more utilitarian and accessible, the look appealed to businesses. Now nearly every business you find has a Facebook page, sharing content relevant to their industry and building a fun playful dialog with prospective customers. Now that Google recently unveiled their business pages the future of social sites is all business. Here is a great walk-though for setting up a Google business page.
Offering educational content is another great way to reach an audience and stand out from your competitors. This can be done with blogs and webinars. On-line education shows your potential customers that you are knowledgeable and sets you up as a thought leader in your industry. Developing trust in this way can lead to sales in the future 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 behind having an on-line presence.