Running your business online can have huge benefits. You don’t have to run your entire business over the internet, some small businesses might only need an email address to communicate with their clients, customers and suppliers. There’s an opportunity there for small businesses to run their entire business online if they so choose to. For a brick and mortar business, having a website can be a game-changer when it comes to increasing business.
Customers now expect to see your business online, people expect to see a website link and an email address on business cards and promotional material. Some people might check you out online, before coming to visit you in person.
1. Customers have global access to your business, 24/7
2. Customer service can be improved through greater flexibility
3. Cost savings – gone are the days of needing a building
4. Faster delivery of products
5. Increased professionalism (if your website is done right)
6. Less paper waste
7. Opportunities to manage your business when and where you want to
We suggest doing a few things before diving in and getting a website for your business. When you are planning the online aspects of your business, take some time to consider the following:
- Research your competitors
- Research online tools that you could use to improve your business (finance systems, online appointment booking, etc)
- Review your budget to see how much you can invest in getting your business online
- Look into whether there are any laws or regulations that would apply to your business activity online. This is particularly important if you are selling products.
- Consider what training your or your staff might need. We advise having more than one person in the office who knows how to update your website and offer free training.
- Plan for risks if you can, consider things like computer viruses, scams, data theft, loss and damages. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Be realistic about the time and budget you will need to manage the online aspects of your business and how long it might take to get up and running.
Getting your business online could be more than just a website, it could be setting up social media channels, sending out e-newsletters, taking online classes or producing regular videos. Booking accommodation online, managing your business banking online, providing your customers with courier tracking information and so much more. There’s a wide range of things you can do as a business online to support your customers.
Your website is a great way of advertising your business, which is totally under your control. Customers are no longer browsing the Yellow Pages to find your business but are looking online - on Google, Bing or social media like Facebook for recommendations.
Find out more about setting up an online shop.
Read more about providing your businesses services online.
Take some time before choosing the right website platform for your business website.