Nearly half of all U.S. small businesses do not have a website. I was surprised to learn this while working in Small Business Development for Google.
Not having a website means that many small businesses are less likely to be found online and, thus, less likely to grow into medium and large size business.
A popular justification for not having a business online was that it was not relevant to their industry. This is no longer true, as nearly 80% of consumers say they do online research about a company or product before making a purchase.
Having a website is a critical key to success.
Of the other 50% of U.S. small businesses that do have a website, over a quarter of their sites are not mobile optimized.
In 2016, the amount of time spent online from a mobile phone greatly surpassed that of desktop computers. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then your potential costumers are going elsewhere.
Who is your costumer?
Businesses should have an avatar idea of who their costumer is. Regardless of the type of business you own, business to business or business to consumer, you need to know information about your costumers beyond the normal age and gender demographics.
What are things they like to read? Does this consumer or business do business with another company like yours already? How can you deliver more of their needs than the competitor?
Once you have an avatar of your costumer, add value to their life. The easiest way to do this is by providing content that they can consume.
If you are reading this right now then you understand that I made this content for you! It helps to establish yourself as a player in your field and as an authority on your subject matter. A website is not good enough. People need to gain trust in a person or business before they feel comfortable buying something from you. Creating content can be as simple as question and answer blog posts to YouTube video creation and more.
A large thing that I hear is that small businesses do not have the money to advertise. This is a big mistake. Big companies get bigger and bigger each year because they are extending their reach through advertisement.
Advertisement can be a very scary thing because you cannot know for sure how it is going to return. However, not advertising makes it impossible to grow into a large business. Plus, with online platforms like google and Facebook, finding your exact costumer has never been easier.
Most people ask, what is a sales funnel? A sales funnel is way to turn leads into paying costumers.
There are generally two parts of a sales funnel. The top part and the bottom part.
The top part of the funnel is where leads generated from blog posts, advertising, etc make their way to your website. At the top part of your funnel you will work to educate people about your business. Only a few people will make immediate purchases from the top part of the funnel.
The bottom part of the funnel is the more important part. Through email marketing and drip campaigns you can turn significantly reduce the price of costumer acquisition. The back end of the funnel is where your business will generate the majority of its profit.
People and their needs change. The business that you started or the advertisement that you ran years ago might not do as well as it once did with the same strategy. You need to be critical of yourself. Constant self improvement in order to maximize your investment should be a daily consideration.
I wish I could go into more depth about each of these topics, but they could all become a book on their own.