Cochise county has a long history of being a traditional “Brick and Mortar” hot spot. Few local businesses find themselves branching out well to an online market. If Brick and Mortar business In Cochise county have worked well for so long why add or change over to online marketing? With more and more businesses transferring online it has never been easier to make your presence known over the internet. Here are 8 reasons to start making that transition now.
1 Company image
For many customers if a business does not have an online presence, it may come off as illegitimate. That may seem crazy, especially if your business has been long established. However, to find out information about a company, many look to the internet, and if they cannot find you they may not trust you. Many large corporations have a very established online presence and will easily overwhelm any business that has not put forth effort in that area. It may seem difficult, however with current technology, it is not as hard as you may think to go toe to toe with the internet giants.
Much of your business depends on the hours you are open. Many small businesses understandably cannot afford or do not have the staff to be open 24/7. Imagine the increase your businesses could have if you could be open all day and all night. An online presence can do that for you, your online store can be open 24/7 people can purchase without a person to even be there to facilitate the transaction. And even if your business needs a physical presence to operate, customers can research your business when you are not open. If you do not give customers a chance to learn who you are on your off time, they will learn about and give their business to someone else.
3 Customer Support / Self Service
Every business needs some level of customer support and sometimes, for whatever reason, it is hard to always fulfill those needs. For a customer, it can be frustrating for a question to not be answered right away, especially if that question is a simple one. If there was a way to answer simple questions without your physical presence wouldn’t you take it? These can include questions about items available, return policy, hours of operation, and whatever other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) you may receive. This goes beyond questions, your business may even allow for self-service. That means you can attract a new customer, answer all their questions, and service them without any labor, it is hard to see a downside.
4 Low Cost
To accomplish everything thus far without an online presence, it would be very expensive. If you think about the cost of hiring even one employee, it could be staggering. However, the cost of an online presence is just a fraction of that. Reasonably, depending on the extent you want, it can be anywhere from $5-$200 a month. In Arizona, a single employee on minimum wage working 25 hours a week will cost $1,215 a month. For what you are getting, the cost is shocking low even if you were to go all out.
5 Internet is a Tool – USE IT
Many times, we hear about “Brick and Mortar” versus “E-Commerce”. However, it is NOT true and should not be looked at in that way. The internet is a tool and should be used to your advantage. To build a wall without all your tools because you don’t believe in them would be insane. To build a business and keep it competitive without using all your tools would be equally insane. Using the internet to promote yourself does not make you a sell out or untraditional, it does not change who you are or what your brand stands for. It merely allows you to reach new customers and better service current ones.
6 Manage from Home
Home is where the heart is and you probably put your heart into your work, why not make it easier on your heart and allow yourself to do some of that work from home. Having an online presence goes beyond allowing customers autonomy. It also allows you to manage part of your business from afar. If you needed to go on vacation but couldn’t leave your work, now you don’t have to.
7 Operation Cost
Being online Helps you increase your business, however it also helps you lower current operating costs. With current world events everyone has suffered business loss, and you may not have the budget to run like you once did. Even though having an online presence does cost money, over all it could be cheaper. With the assistance of the internet, you may be able to run like you once did, but, on the budget you currently have.
8 Increase Customer Base
If you want to make your business international or if you want to stay in Cochise County attracting new customers through the internet is right for you. Even locally there is a large portion of customers that shop exclusively or mostly online. You can stay faithful to your in person customers while attracting others through the internet. No matter how far you would like to extend your business, being online is not something that should be skipped. Imagine finding out your business wasn’t available to 63% of those in your area. As a business, your next step should be to immediately make your business available to them. With 63% of sales starting online (1) without an online presence, a business would simply not be available to all those potential customers.
This is definitely not how business used to be done. However, this is the way the world is going and as a small business we cannot afford to miss the train. Focusing on our online presence is an inexpensive way to better take care of our customers and remain competitive in a changing market.