Top Ten Reasons Your Local Business Must Be Online

Whether your local business is small or large, regardless of how much business you do, a quality website is a must.

One of the biggest mistakes local businesses make is assuming their physical presence in a local community is all they need to attract clients. A second big mistake is believing that due to small or mid-size, a website isn’t affordable or necessary.

Consider the following top 10 reasons your business must be online if you plan to not only survive, but thrive in today’s economy:

1. Location.

Whether you have the best location on the block or you’re tucked in a corner nook office in a vacant strip mall, an online presence makes it easy for more customers to find you. A potential customer who has never needed your services or products before isn’t going to drive around looking for you – and forget the Yellow Pages. Most likely, that potential client will turn to the Internet to explore local listings. If you’re not there, you’ve lost a sale.

2. Expertise.

A website is much more than a listing of your business’ name, address and phone number. A quality website showcases not only your products or services, but your expertise with informative articles, videos, photos and much more.

3. Promotion.

Today, a business’ website serves as a “hub” for a wide variety of marketing activities. You can advertise sales, promote new products, announce giveaways and offer valuable “freebies” in exchange for customers signing up to your email list. When you have a website, newsletter, ezine, email marketing and other valuable promotional opportunities open and spread before your eyes.

4. Connection

Local businesses can connect with clients in multiple ways by going online. Once you have a website, it’s easy to add a blog or incorporate popular social networking into your online marketing strategy.

5. Interaction

Not only can you easily connect with your clients online, you can also interact with them! This means gaining valuable insight into your business, your products and your services. Visitor comments, polls, contact queries and more can help you develop and improve your business to meet your customers’ precise needs.

6. Management

How much time and expense might your business save if clients could place orders for pickup or delivery or even book appointments for your services online? These are just a few of the possible ways going online can help you better manage your business.

7. Reputation

Almost everyone has had the experience of searching for a business online, only to be disappointed or put off by the discovery, none exists. A quality website will build your business’ reputation and credibility in the eyes of potential clients.

8. Convenience

Consumers today associate the Internet with convenience. Whether they’re searching for your business’ location, a coupon they can quickly print for savings or an easy way to contact you for more information, customers perceive the lack of a website as “inconvenient.”

9. Competition

A quality website will set you leagues apart from local business competitors. You can offer more information, better service, a more enjoyable experience and valuable promotions than can possibly be achieved offline.

10. Scalability

Perhaps the most important reason your local business must be online involves the ability to adjust and develop long term as your business grows. A website can help you meet the needs of all of you customers and continue to attract new ones as you move from a solo business to a small business, a small business to a mid-sized business, and on up as high as your business plan aspires.