Is it important to have a physical location where people can reach you? A physical address where people have access to your goods and services? Trust me, in this digital age, it’s even more important to have an online address. In fact, many businesses today do not even have a physical location – all their activities take place online!The benefits of taking your business online are endless! Over a billion people use the internet every day. It cannot be overemphasized—you need your business online! Here is why.
- It improves your business image
Without an online presence, people wouldn’t take your business seriously. It’s a hard truth, but it’s one you have to accept. These days, when you tell someone about your business, the first this they do is look you up on Google and social media or try to load your website to confirm that you are indeed the real deal. Without an established online brand, most prospective clients could begin to question your credibility and you could lose them to competitors who have more recognized online identities. Having a great website with great content can tremendously improve your business image.
- It is highly cost-effective
Believe it or not, having an online presence is more cost-effective than having a physical address. Websites and social media accounts are really easy to create and much cheaper compared to having to rent (or build) an office space, equip and furnish it, and employ staff (who you have to pay). Creating a business page on all social media networks is free. To create a website, you would need a one-time web design fee, renewable domain name and hosting which will cost you as little as N4000 yearly depending on the plan you choose. All you need to maintain your online presence is a reliable internet, a good system and if absolutely necessary, a few personnel. Talk about cost-effectiveness!
- You can define your target audience
The beauty of online marketing is that you can specify who will see your ads based on interest. This way, you are sure that you are putting the right ads in front of the right people. This is much better than traditional advertising which is basically advertising to everyone and hoping someone is interested. Social Media Ads help you specify the demographics of the people who would be most interested in your goods or services. Search Engine Marketing allows you to show your ads to searchers based on the keywords searched. All in all, having your business online would help you locate and reach your targeted audience better. It would also give them the awareness they need about your business.
- Great feedback
With an online business, it’s much easier to get customer feedback. This can be directly through comments and ratings on your social media pages, or indirectly through social media and web analytics. Analytics is one of the greatest things about online businesses. With web analytics, you can tell how visitors first encountered your site, what type of device they used, how much time viewers spend on each page on your site, which content generates the most traffic, which keywords visitors type to get to your website, and so much more. Amazing, not so? This information is really helpful for defining new marketing strategies. You can also track your customer behavior and define your customer profile and demographics. This is called market research. It helps you understand specifically which people groups are more interested in your business and learn how you can expand your business to appeal to more classes.
- You can go global from your room!
Digitization opens your business to networks far beyond your physical location. With a ‘brick and mortar’ business, there is a limit to the number of people who can visit you at any given time, let alone find you. There is no limit to your reach on the internet. The whole world can access your business through their device. As long as you have reliable internet, you can live virtually anywhere and conduct your business online. Globalization has made the world smaller. You can expand your business internationally from the comfort of your home and sell your goods and services to people in locations you probably might have never even heard of. You can even offer your services and products in languages you don’t even speak! You can take advantage of this vast reach!
Getting your business online is taking action that will benefit you, help your customers, and set your business up for the future. There’s really no excuse – it’s easier, more cost effective and there’s greater opportunity for expansion. So take advantage of the internet. Get your business online today!