The era of online is at its peak, and this is the time for you to take your business online. But how do you do it? Here’s a step-by-step guide for you.
If you’re a businessman without an online presence, you must have received hundreds of tips on how to do so along with the unsolicited advice on why you should do it. You must have heard your share of phrases like “scaling” and “higher ROI”. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s more than that.
In this article, we specify exactly WHY you need to take your business online followed by a short guide on how to do it right.
Benefits of Taking Your Business Online
- Become More Accessible
Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t very accessible. At least, no as much as consumers would like them to be. There are constraints of both distance and time. But when you take your business online, you’re transacting 24 hours a day and people can get in at the click of a button. For example, online shopping and mobile slots today are much more popular than malls and casinos due to their accessibility.
- Establishes Credibility
Consumers these days are very cautious and proactive. You’ll have noticed (or even do it yourself) that consumers compare prices and read reviews from other buyers online before making a purchase. If someone can’t find even a trace of your business online — not a website, a Facebook page, or a Google review — they’re going to hesitate to buy from you.
- Builds Your Brand
Building a brand means raising brand awareness, establishing credibility, and developing a loyal and growing customer base. This is much easier and effective to do online. It’s also much more inexpensive.
- Increases Customer Engagement
Today, business is much more about selling a product or service and making a profit. You need to engage with your customer and create a sense of familiarity between you. This can be done effectively and easily when you’ve brought your business online. By doing this, you’re bringing your business where your customers already are and not the other way around.
- Generate Sales Leads
As a businessman, this is your biggest goal, and website, social media, contact forms, and email marketing campaigns can help you achieve your target.
How to Bring an Existing Business Online
Now that you’re convinced about the importance of bringing your business online (we hope!), here are the steps you’ll need to take to bring your business online.
1. Create Your Digital Footprint
Your digital footprint is how you’ll look on the Internet. It consists of the following elements.
- Website – Your website is your business’ home on the internet. This is where you do everything — tell your story, sell your products and services, and establish your credibility. Remember to pick a domain name that clearly indicates who you are and what you have to offer.
- Social Media – This is where you build and engage with your community. Your customers like to spend their time here, so use their time wisely. You can use sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Choose the sites depending on your business’ demographic.
- Email – A branded email is an easy, affordable, and effective way to get in touch with your customers and generate leads.
2. Drive Profits with Profits
A good rule of thumb to follow initially is to follow the Pareto Principle. According to this, 20% of your products probably generate 80% of your business. All you need to do is identify this 20% and put it up for online sales. Later, when you have more time and resources, you can put the other 80% online as well.
3. Take Advantage of Supplier Relationships
It may seem like you’re at a disadvantage for going online quite late. But remember that it’s never too late and that, in fact, you have a leg up on people who are just starting out because of your existing relationship with your suppliers. You can request your existing retailers to use their real-world status to get product databases and images from suppliers. You can pick your supplier’s brains as well to keep up on industry trends. Finally, you can request a link from their website to your online store to increase your own credibility.