Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grow with the net

     Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business

     Many small businesses get a website, and then they wait. Complaints abound among owners that the website is a waste of time. 

     Putting up a website and waiting for the world to beat a path to your door is like putting up your business sign and expecting people to come. Marketing your business is much more than this.

     Example: Susan runs a pet shop. She stays on top of the pet foods her customers want for their dogs and cats. She stocks fresh foods for pets, including meats from area farmers. Susan has a website and keeps it updated. But she expanded her business considerably when she began putting pictures of dogs and cats on social media. She began with Facebook. It has been so successful, she is now putting pictures on other social media. This reaches out to people in a wide area and brings more people to her pet shop--or they place an order on her website.

     Example: Joanne began business with a small consignment shop. She was not satisfied with the limited customer base she attracted. A friend suggested that she use eBay to sell to a wider audience. Joanne decided to turn her shop into an eBay consignment shop. She began by redesigning her website and posting pictures on social media. She promoted the fact that high-end items and collectibles could be consigned to her shop, and, additionally, she would put them up on eBay. She is now reaching a much wider audience of prospective buyers, and she has outgrown the old consignment shop. 

     Example: Judy started her business by offering bookkeeping services and tax filings for small businesses. She grew by helping them install automated accounting systems, making it easier for them and for her. To promote her services and attract new clients, Judy changed her website to offer webinars. Some are introductory and free, others are detailed and require a fee. But all bring in new clients, not just in Judy's area, but from beyond. 

     Using the many possibilities offered by the Internet can significantly change, improve and grow your business. The net is continually changing the business landscape. 

     Start with that website. Keep it simple and updated. Then drive traffic to your business using all sorts of avenues not available 20 years ago.

     Social media offers a huge advantage to small business. Start with Facebook and then check out the other possibilities. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly, and cheaply, you can grow your business.

     It does not matter whether you offer products or services. And it does not matter whether you are local or national. By using the net, you are reaching out to new prospects. And that's what marketing and growth are all about.