It seems like everyone and in some cases even their dog has a website now or some form of social media presence. But why is this? Does it actually pay to be active on the web and social media?
Rewind to the end of the year 2015 in the UK where e-commerce sales totalled a whopping £533 billion. That statistic is quite compelling by itself but when you combine it with the fact that 70-80% of people will research a small business online before visiting or making a purchase, you start to see that having an online presence is more important than ever before.
Where do you start? There is so much information out there about what you ‘have to’ do, but here are some great first steps to start you off.
- Start taking payments online even if you don’t have a website. The fees are usually pretty reasonable and it means that you can take payment credit cards and automate payment reminders.
- Social media presence – pick one and master it. There are too many different social media platforms to mention but if you try and gain an audience on every single one of them – you are doomed to fail. Each industry will have a social media platform that it is best suited to. Cupcakes probably fit better on twitter and Facebook rather than LinkedIn. Although everyone does love a cupcake.
- Get a website, keep it simple and update it regularly: We think simplicity and user experience are top of the list when it comes to web design. If you regularly update your website with content (blog posts, articles etc) that is genuinely useful to your audience you’ll rank higher on google and get more people on your website.
We aren’t promising that you’ll be the next Shopify or Amazon by following these tips, but it can take your business to the next level. Keep an eye out for our blog post in a few weeks looking at what systems small businesses use to automate processes and save time.