When you own a small business, you want to reach as many potential customers as possible. That can be quite difficult from a static location.
This is why so many people are learning how to bring a small business online. Most people spend the majority of their time online, so online sales and advertising just make practical sense.
But many people don’t know how to bring a small business online. It seems like a daunting task when you don’t have all of the necessary information to get your business online.
But, don’t worry. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to bring a small business online!
You might be reading this article and wondering why you should consider learning how to bring a small business online. The short answer is that it will obtain you more unique customers than your offline shop and advertisements can reach.
Studies have shown that as many as 91% of all consumers check online to find new local goods and services. Most people use the internet to find information, and if you have an online presence it means that they can quickly and conveniently find information about your business from their computer or mobile device. From there, depending on how you go about establishing an online presence, customers can either come to your physical location or purchase products from your shop online.
Here are some in-depth steps to help you get your small business online and start creating an online presence to drive new customers to your business.
If you’re learning how to bring a small business online, then one of the first things you’ll want to do is get a domain name.
What’s a domain name? It’s the part of a website address after the “www.”, or the designation that anchors an email address.
It’s important that you choose a good domain name because it will represent your business, and affect its placement in search results.
Here are some tips to help you choose a good domain name:
While you’re learning how to bring a small business online and researching domain names, you should check to see if the name you want to use is already copyrighted or being used by another company.
You can use various adjectives and descriptions to help you choose the right domain name. Here are just a few:
Business industry: catering, hotel, bar
Services: wedding planning, food for wedding receptions, wedding venue
Products: chocolate bars, snacks, appetizers, wedding gifts
Geographic location: New York City, Chicago, San Francisco
Words to describe your services: elegant, convenient, fun
While you’re on your journey to learn how to bring a small business online, an important step is planning your website.
What do you want your site to do? Would you like it to inform people and bring brand awareness? Do you want it to bring you more sales leads? Or do you want to sell goods and services online?
If you want to sell your products and services online, then you’ll need to set up an ecommerce website, or online store. You need to make sure that your ecommerce site features a shopping cart with inventory tracking and shipping options. You also want an ecommerce provider to allow you to use payment services like PayPal and let you take credit and debit card payments. This allows customers to make a payment straight from your site. You also need an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This is an indication that your site encrypts customer information and keeps it secure while they’re making online purchases.
If you’re researching how to bring a small business online, then chances are that you’re pretty inexperienced with the web design aspect of online business. But, it’s not difficult if you use the right web design platform, or choose to hire a professional website designer.
If you use a DIY website builder, then you should choose one with professional, yet stylish templates. It should be mobile- friendly, as well.
If you choose to use WordPress, then you can customize your website without having to learn HTML. It has tons of themes to choose from, and lots of plugins and integrations.
If you choose to hire a professional website designer, you’ll have less work on your hands. You need to have a plan for what you want your website to look like and contain, but beyond that you won’t have to do all of the work of creating the site yourself.
If you’re learning how to bring a small business online, then you need to get familiar with content creation.
Some of the pages you could consider adding to your site include a home page, a page for products and services, an “about us” page, and a contact page. Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list and you can add any pages you wish to your website.
Another part of learning how to bring a small business online is learning SEO (search engine optimization). This is a set of metrics that makes your pages more likely to show up higher in search engine results, which means that more people are likely to see them.
Some of the most popular SEO criteria include things such as:
Relevant page content: You need to make sure that you add content to your page that your target customers search for and want to see.
Keywords: You should look up keywords or use tools to generate keywords based on your content. This helps you understand what people are searching for to find similar businesses.
Meta tags: These tags are short blurbs that describe the content of your page for search engines.
Site navigation: All of the links on your site need to work, and it should be easy for visitors to your site to navigate and find their way around your site.
When you’re learning how to bring a small business online, then you need to know how to create an online social media presence for your business. Many people spend hours per day on social media, and they use it to find out about local businesses and online deals, so you’re missing out if you aren’t using it to connect with customers.
It’s going to take some work and time on your part to take part in online interactions, but it pays off in the long run.
You can use social media to build relationships with your customer base, build your brand and tell people about your business and values, drive customer traffic to your website, tell people about what you know and gain credibility in your industry, and of course, make sales.
Another important thing to learn while you’re learning how to bring a small business online is how to use your website and email to generate leads. To do this, you need to ask visitors to your site for information, like their email or phone number. Don’t worry, they’ll provide you with the information because they’re used to providing this information to websites.
You can get email addresses from your contact form when visitors use it to ask questions. You can set up a sign-up form so that customers get sales information emailed to them, or add a button so customers can opt- in to emails when they check out. Or, you can offer customers deals and offers if they provide you with their email addresses.
Once you have their email addresses or phone numbers, you can send them information about new products, services or current sales. This keeps your business fresh in the minds of your customers, or reminds them about your business and they’ll typically come visit your site and scroll through sales and your product page to see if there’s anything new that they want, which means that you can make sales simply from email addresses.
It’s quite easy to learn how to bring a small business online. You’ll need to learn a bit about website design if you choose to design your site yourself, but you also have the option to hire a website designer to do it for you.
And you’ll need to learn a bit about SEO and good social media strategies, as well. But once you’ve established your business online, the rest is relatively simple.
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Quite simply, you focus on the strategies and platforms that are working for you. If you’re getting lots of attention on Facebook, then it’s a good idea to focus on that instead of under-performing platforms.
Yes! Videos are a great way to gain recognition for your business.
Very. In fact, 88% of customers who have searched for a business online will buy something from that business within 24 hours.
Yes, in a positive way. As a result of the pandemic, ecommerce sales went up by 18%, totaling $710,000,000.
Online stores are a great idea for local small businesses. In 2020 at the height of the holiday shopping season, small businesses saw an increase in online sales of a whopping 110%.