Why Your Small Business Needs an Online Presence

why-you-need-an-online-presence
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Websites Help Build Trust and Grow Your Business

If you’ve read our latest blog post – Benefits of Online Customer Reviews – and are left scratching your head in confusion, Direct Capital might know why.

We mention that having positive reviews on the internet helps rank your website higher in the search engines. But, if you don’t have a website, a blog, or any social profiles, none of that probably matters to you. Well, we’re here to change your mind.

Answer these questions for us: How many years have you been in business? And how many customers have you brought in on your own in those years? Chances are the answer is a lot. In fact, you probably brought it most of them with your skills and reputation. And that’s great – keep on doing what you are doing to maintain the satisfaction of your current customers.

But, times are changing. More and more people – young and old – are using the internet for everything. Everything:

  • Italian restaurants in “City”
  • Dental services in “City”
  • How to change a tire
  • Where can I get a tractor trailer?

Important to small businesses like yours, are the “How To” or the “where can I get ____” search queries because that means a consumer wants something right now and will go to wherever they can get it. Everything that your business does – from A to Z; from soup to nuts – needs to be present on the internet. Otherwise, how else will you get found?

Localvox.com reports that 88% of consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device will go to that business within 24 hours. You want to be that business.

How a Working Capital Loan Can Help Grow Your Online Presence

Direct Capital works hard to help businesses continue to see growth and that’s exactly what we want for you. A website, a blog, and social profiles can significantly help take your business to the next level.

But, hiring a marketing company to produce and monitor your website, and bringing on another employee for social media, can be costly. Costly, but worth it.

By taking out a small business loan with us, you can use the money towards any business need you have – including marketing, website design, and payroll. Don’t worry – like we said, we want to help your business grow and we know that having a website and social profiles that work just as hard as you do will set you on a path to success.

3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

With the worry of how you’ll afford these new marketing efforts out of the way, it’s time to focus on the why.

When we say online presence, we mean the whole package. Having a website without a social profile used to be enough – but not anymore. In the beginning of 2014, roughly 81% of small businesses were using social media and it’s time for your business to join them.

  1. Build Trust: How often do you research a purchase before you buy it – whether it’s a new tool, an appliance, a book, anything? Probably pretty often. Having a website and social profiles do the same thing. They help consumers see what type of business you are, who you are behind the business, and gives them comfort before choosing you. Businesses without a website don’t see as much success. A Weebly survey found that 56% of consumers will not trust a business that doesn’t have a website.
  2. Grow your Client List: Word of mouth can only go so far. Someone who is new in your town that doesn’t know anyone yet might need quick service or want to know a good place to shop or eat. That person is going to search on the internet and choose a business they find on there that looks credible and legitimate. If you aren’t there, you’re missing out on some great opportunities to gain customers for life.
  3. Aid in Your Marketing: You’ve got the trust and the clients – now you just have to market to them. With numerous marketing channels, there are so many ways you can promote your business and services. Social profiles can be used to generate interest in your company with a giveaway or a contest if they like/follow your page. Bring all of your customers back to your website where you can promote deals/offers in coupons, your hot item of the week, or just by showing them what they will get when they choose your company.

So, you know why you need an online presence, but do you know how to get it? We do.

Whether your company is big or small, we can guess that you always want to make money and gain more customers. That starts with a website.

There are a number of different routes you could take to begin building your website. You can try your hand at it (WordPress.com offers free hosting. It will look more like a blog, but it could provide what you need to start) or you could hire a marketing company.

There are marketing companies that specialize in building websites and social profiles for specific industries. They know what your specific customers want and will build your online presence accordingly. To find one that best suits your needs, do some research or, as we said, start off making one yourself.

It’s important that you have a website that’s well designed and well optimized. Optimization is a crazy world so to simplify, you want to make sure all of your services (and service areas) are laid out clearly on your website. For example, if you own a medical facility, you should have all of the procedures you perform on your website along with where you are located. This will help people find you and improve the user experience once they are on your website.

Once you have your website in order, you need to set up your business social profiles. We’ve done a number of articles on how to use the different social platforms for your business, so you can utilize those to help determine which networks will work for you.

Social networks are meant to be easy so it shouldn’t take too much time or effort to set one up. It’s the monitoring of those profiles that can get tedious – especially for a busy business owner like you. If you are serious about making a solid name for yourself in the social sphere, our advice would be to hire a dedicated person to monitor and work with social media. Another great option is to hire an intern. Many students would love the opportunity to be in charge of your social media profiles. And the best part is internships are often unpaid, so it’s not an added expense.

When deciding if you want to be serious about it or not, remember this: 70% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information listed on a social media site.

Convinced? We hope so. To get started on a working capital loan to help aid your marketing efforts, contact us or visit our website. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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