Here are the top 7 ways you can broaden your exposure and take your business to the next level with a website, according to Audra Hajj, a frequent guest blogger:
In the past, retailers kept inventory of things they believed clients wanted to buy. They purchased them, stored them, positioned them, repositioned them, cleared them out and started over. Today as an online retailer, you can now stock an unlimited number of products, and buy your stock after you sell the item. Your products can be seen by a performing a simple keyword search. Imagine your business being visible in the moment of greatest interest to those actually looking for your products and services, rather than blindly marketing your business to random people, who may or may not be interested.
How can you broaden your exposure and take your business to the next level? Here are the top 7 reasons why you need a website:
1. The internet levels the playing field.
On the internet, small to medium businesses are KING! A professionally designed website combined with strong online marketing can be as good as a big company’s, and in many cases even better. Smaller companies have better customer service and handle each client with the kind of attention your customers want and need.
2. 365 days a week, 24×7 and fewer headaches.
On your website, you can now sell your products and services 365 days a week, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! Your new “sales person” never calls in sick, never complains about working long hours or holidays, always remembers to up-sell and never misrepresents your product or service. This new sales person is also able to report to you a wealth of information about the people who became customers, as well as the people who only looked but didn’t buy. With this valuable information, you can increase your sales numbers, and better market to the “ones who got away.”
3. Reach a larger market focus – local, regional, national or global.
Your website is a powerful marketing tool that gives you the ability to market directly to the customers looking for your products and services. You can use techniques like SEO, PPC and affiliate marketing to target these new markets.
4. Exponentially increase your products and services.
On the web, you are not limited to a square footage, working capital, or even your own skills and knowledge. You can sell an unlimited amount of different products directly from manufacturers and have them drop-shipped to your customers with your business name on the box. By partnering with others who offer complementary services or products, you can also offer services that accent and add value to your business.
5. Test market your new products and services.
Without investing huge R&D dollars, you can quickly launch new ideas and solicit customer feedback. You can also immediately change copy, features and track who clicked on and viewed what and for how long. Your website gives you the ability to test market and present new services and products to your customers.
6. Educate, validate, and sell for higher margins.
Your customers can educate themselves on your products and services before they call you, with website media you provide that best suits their personality. Text, video and images all cater to a different personal preference. Testimonials and product reviews validate your products and your company. Also, with a customer list, automated emails can remarket to your already happy clients and boost sales.
7. Outrank, outsell and beat your competition.
To grow your business and branding within your marketplace you have to create a website and market it before your competition does. If you feel it is too late, you are wrong. Every day, more effective ways of online marketing are being developed. If you work with a professional, you can outrank, outsell and beat the competition.
How do these tips relate to you and your business?
Experts estimate that out of an 8 hour work day, the typical business owner is able to spend less than 2 hours on revenue-generating activities…having an online business can change all of this!
Having a great website is like having an army of perfect employees working for you… Your store is always clean and neat and arranged the way you want it. You are open for business 24/7. Your products or services are always presented to your clients in the best possible way. With drop-shipping, there are never any inventory issues… If the product comes in 50 colors or sizes, you can show your clients all of them without having to stock any of them. Your sales figures are collected automatically and can be dropped into QuickBooks with a few mouse clicks. Every client is greeted. Every client is offered up-sell products. Every customer gets a thank-you note and can automatically receive your sales notices, newsletters or any other marketing material you choose to send them; all with very little effort on your part.
A website can invigorate your brick and mortar store, and doesn’t just help you make money online. Your website can be a strong selling tool for your staff. Imagine your customer asking for a product that is out of stock or in a color that you don’t carry in your store. Instead of saying “no”, your employees can say “Yes!” directing the customer on your website to the product they are looking for, ordering it while the customer is standing right there.
Having a well-designed website (through the right online partner!), frees you from the little things and allows you to concentrate on the big things. The right website allows you to spend more time on those things that make the greatest impact on your bottom line. A strategically designed and professionally marketed website with an automated attack plan can help you double your sales without doubling your staff.
If you don’t have a strong web presence today, how do you think people are going to find you?