Thursday, September 3, 2015

Netting wider markets

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     to help you better manage your small business

     Internet markets are wide and deep. You can reach out in all directions to attract clients and customers--no matter your business.

     Astute owners of small businesses can quickly grow and expand beyond the limits of the communities they serve. With a website and using the power of social media, small businesses can become big. 

     Example: David operates a small collectibles shop serving a suburban community near a large city. He specializes in board games, puzzles, children's books including paper cut-outs and coloring books, and small action figures. When he expanded his website to include ordering/shipping, sales increased. When he began posting on Facebook and other social media, sales increased again. Today, David spends most of his time filling orders and getting everything ready for a daily UPS pick-up. He takes a break now and then to wait on a new customer who wanders into his storefront. 

     Example: Catherine is a certified Pilates instructor. In addition to her growing list of clients, Catherine began offering instructional courses through her website, and she promoted these through social media. The educational materials are directed to two types of clients: those who want to simply learn more about Pilates, and those who want to become certified. Catherine does not offer certifications; rather, she gets people up to speed to become certified. These initiatives have expanded Catherine's business all over the country. 

     Example: Ellen is a nutritionist. To expand her client base, Ellen began offering free talks to organizations, wellness centers, medical groups and others. She posts nutritional tips on social media, driving people to her website. Ellen also wrote a short book on healthy eating and controlling weight. She published it as an Amazon e-book, and she promotes the book at her talks as well as on social media. This has generated more interest and brought her additional clients. One of her new clients is a supermarket chain. 

     No matter your business, you can increase sales and reputation and referrals using the Internet. The net puts your business in front of eyeballs unfamiliar with your business.

     Your website is only the beginning. Use social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more represent opportunities just waiting for you to use them. Netting wider markets is a growth path you can easily take advantage of. 

     Most businesses have a website. But most of these don't use it to best advantage. You must drive eyeballs to your website, and social media can do the job. Best of all, social media is free for the most part.