This idea of building a website and seeing orders pour in seems to be a predominant perspective in a lot of businesses. I encounter, at times, a comment that negates the value of a company’s website by saying we have no internet sales. And yet, I wonder how many people phoned because they saw the company website?
Just like the earlier and simpler days of the White Pages and the Yellow Pages, people looked you and others up and made some phone calls. You had another step in the sales process. And an important one: Build rapport and earn the business.
Now you’re probably freaking. As if you haven’t enough to do already. Right?
Business is a first-things-first arena, though. A living, breathing, heart-beating, red-blooded lead that calls you is definitely a first thing. And you, the business owner, are even better served by getting out there and meeting people, making phone calls, and building relationships. If you can have a small showroom store-front to establish a stronger presence, all the better. All these factors will have a greater influence than your website.
So why bother with the website and all this social media marketing stuff? Right?
Simple. Many of the people you will meet and the events you will be attending will have a social media profile. You’re building a network, and in building this network you’re leveraging the power of social media, the internet, and basic internet marketing principles. As you grow in the real world, you will grow in the virtual world too.
In reverse, the same is possible. The risk, however, is deadly if caught into the trap. Many endeavour to launch their web presence and build a following and neglect the face-to-face interactions and marketing events. Ironically, the social media arena opens avenues to attend events locally and still connect. Many do, of course, but as I said opening this paragraph, if caught into the trap it is deadly. Internet connected and real-world isolation… followed by what?
Are there benefits to online marketing, an ecommerce store, etc?
Absolutely! And even more so today. First of all, you need to manage many aspects of your business. As you establish relationships with your customers, you can offer an online ordering system through your website that helps you to automate your business processes, saving you time, making you and your operations more efficient. The sky is the limit when you have some money to throw at the technical requirements.
You’re on a modest budget though, and as a small business, can see the future possibilities but have to deal with today’s realities. I hear you.
The fascinating thing about the internet, and websites in general today, is that they are living breathing entities that continually transform to keep fresh, inviting, current, and relevant. And in the beginning, one can start with a basic few systems and manage many aspects of their business at a modest fee. As you grow and your revenues, you can scale to larger systems to accommodate the business growth. It’s simply a question of where you are on the timeline.
And in the process of doing these many things on a consistent to semi-consistent basis, is an increase of traffic, search engine ranking, and social media presence. It’s all just a question of work and time.
Plant the seeds.