If you’ve built a successful offline business, congratulations! Any stable business is something to celebrate in today’s economy. So, now you’re thinking about taking it online, but you’re unsure where to start. It’s a common problem for many successful offline businesses. The digital world can seem a daunting place to the uninitiated. Let us set your mind at ease by telling you that your world is about to open wide with possibility. The internet has been a phenomenal force for good for businesses, and yours will benefit. You’ll reach more people, make more connections, and secure more sales. Here’s how.
Set up an e-commerce site
If your company relies on product sales to survive, your first step is an e-commerce site. It’s easier than you think to get started, and you could even build it yourself. Use your website to showcase your product, and then direct people to the online store. You can also diversify and host your products on third party websites. The likes of eBay, Etsy and Amazon allow you to sell your wares through their platforms. This will save your business money on real-life store costs.
Invest in digital marketing
Sometimes, operating in the digital sphere can feel like shouting into a void. You create social network profiles, you write blogs and produce content. But, without proper marketing, they’ll remain empty and unused. There are plenty of things you can do to boost your presence here. First, research the best SEO practices to ensure your websites appears on Google. Write guest blogs for relevant sites and increase your profile online. Invest some money in online advertising to generate those first few leads. It will all slowly come together, and your community will grow.
Networking has always been an essential part of business. You generate new business leads and make new connections. You bounce ideas back and forth and seal big business deals. With the internet, things just got even easier. On a personal level, you can use the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter to interact with others in your industry. Make connections, answer questions and provide advice. It’s easier than ever to make that first move.
Don’t forget the mobile world
The internet is no longer restricted to desktop PCs and laptops. At the turn of the year, mobile internet use surpassed desktops for the first time. More and more people are accessing the internet through smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website is responsive and set up to handle this method of interaction. You could even commission a business app to extend your reach and improve your marketing. Use location services to target customers on the move too. The mobile world is ripe for taking advantage. Use it well!
Keep your branding consistent
Our final note is all about branding. If you’ve built a fairly strong reputation out in the real world, translate that reputation online. If people are familiar with your brand already, make sure they recognise it when they see it online. Keep your colour scheme and logo consistent throughout your website, emails and social media.
We hope that has shed some light on the benefits of moving online. You’ll soon reap the rewards of this vast new ocean of opportunity. Good luck!