If you want to survive and thrive as a company in the modern business landscape, you must incorporate yourself into the online world. Everything from marketing to sales conversions is happening online. The generation of people who have grown up on computer technology are becoming employed and having expendable income.
If you have yet to truly merge your business with the Internet, here are some of the most important ways in which you must do so.
85% of all new business is done through the major search engines Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you do not have a presence on these platforms, then you are missing out on tens of thousands of dollars that you do not even know that you are missing.
It is actually much easier than ever to get started on the major search engines, direct marketing, and in other online marketing forms. As a matter fact, there is a good chance that Google already has your business marked if you are registered with the state with a storefront. In many cases, all that business owners have to do is claim their listing. Take a look at Google Places in order to find out if your name and address have already been registered with the search engine.
The mobile environment is also doing more business than ever before. You must have a responsive website that gives Apple and Android users the ability to find you easily. The new Millennial generation that everyone is aiming their marketing at does not sit and watch TV. They find new companies over their mobile phones.
If you have service customers in your area, odds are that you probably already have a review of your business up on a website like Yelp or Foursquare. Even if you do not plan to engage with these websites regularly, this is still a great way to find out exactly what people think of your business. Review sites are the new word-of-mouth. People are actually becoming quite well-known for dropping reviews of businesses in real time as they patronize them.
Social media is also a great way to get the word out about your business. If you have any social media profile such as Facebook or Twitter, then you can start a conversation with your customers that can give you inside information about how you are perceived. In the past, this kind of service had to be outsourced to a focus group company and could cost thousands of dollars. Today, the information is given freely by people online. It is simply good business to go and find this information in order to use it for the benefit of your business.
If your storefront has experienced a drop in foot traffic lately, you may be receiving competition from companies that you did not even know were in existence. Many businesses today have online only existences that create a much more convenient solution for customers. However, you will not know this unless you look online to see where your customers are and what they are looking for.
You can easily find local competition using a localized search on any of the major search engines. Google is the most often used service. It is also generally the most expansive, regularly pinging government roles in order to find out who is creating a new business.
Maximizing Your Online Footprint
You may not be the best at navigating the online world at first – it can be quite technically in-depth. You have customers that you need to tend to today – learning a new skill may not be in your timeframe. However, there are plenty of solutions that can help you to create an online presence without spending a great deal of time on it. Workflow software such as BPM Software will help you to organize your online marketing, PR and logistical efforts without having to waste the working day on it.
Good workflow software will streamline your online and offline workday in a way that will marry the two. For instance, you can learn how to use QR codes to drive your foot traffic to your website. You can monitor the Internet for new comments on your business so that you can address them quickly and directly. There is no reason to shun the Internet just because it is a new opportunity; rather, you must learn how to use it to enhance your current efforts.