I began writing this post with this title, “Web Strategies for Small Businesses” in mind. And while this title was a completely accurate title for what I wanted to write, I felt like it was not an accurate picture of where I typically find small businesses when it comes to operating online. The term Web Strategies on the surface may sound really big and technically complex topic. If you are anything like many small businesses, the last thing you need is something else to overwhelm you or take up more of your attention. Much like you, Booker & Co is a small business, so we relate to many of the same challenges your business might be facing. The goal of this article is not to simply remind you of the challenges of life as a small business owner. What I hope to do in this series, is to lead you to a better understanding of what is involved in a web strategy, get the discussion flowing, and help your business understand how having an effective web strategy can help you to achieve your business’ goals.
3 Frustrations Every Small Business Faces Online:
- Knowing Where to Begin
- Understanding the What and When of Online Business
- Always Feeling Technically Behind or Overwhelmed
Knowing Where to Begin
There is a lot to learn when it comes to building your business online. As the web has evolved, the usage of the internet for both consumers and businesses has evolved with it. Online business never stands still. This can create the perfect storm for any small business striving to make an impact on the world. No matter what size your business, there are certain things which every business will need.
Depending on your background and life experience you might find yourself at somewhat different stages. Feel free to skip around and make adjustments to find what information is most helpful for your business. No matter what stage you or your business may be in, we hope that you can come away with information that will help move your business towards its goals.
The What and When of Online Business
The title here may be a bit misleading, but it best describes what many small business operators wish they knew. Understandably, there is a lot to know when it comes to “doing” business online. It is even a bit of a misnomer to call it “doing” business online because all business is done online to some degree or another. Your customers or potential customers are looking for businesses online even if a particular business has zero web presence. Sites such as Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor create online directories of business information from contact information to customer reviews.
What many businesses want is some sort of map or list of steps as to how to engage with customers online in different capacities. The intricacies of this varies depending on the type or nature of the small business. A one-size-fits-all approach will simply not work here. What we hope to provide are some universal concepts which can be applied to any small business.
Always Feeling Technically Behind
Most likely, you have seen colleagues or competitors doing really cool things online and you wonder how they find the time or budget to post articles or create content and continue to operate their business. Your business placed “expand web presence” on your business goals list, but knowing where to start is another thing. Your business is on Facebook, Instagram, and it has a Twitter account, but now the list of social outposts seems to be growing each year. Your business is curious about Tiktok and Snapchat and how it could potentially improve business. All of this potential is great, but is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that your competitor has it all figured out. We will address the mindset which is essential for small businesses of all types.
This article is the first in a series dedicated to helping small business owners or operators. Below is an overview of what is to come.
- Web Strategies for Small Businesses (You are here)
- Staking Your Claim
- The Importance of Professional Email for Your Small Business
- Social Media as a Small Business
- Helping Customers Find Your Business Online
Understanding Your Customers
A lot of this comes down to understanding your current customers or potential customers and executing strategies which best meet your customers’ needs. For most people, the web has been around now for around 20 plus years. Yet websites which used to be rather basic back in the early days of the web are now growing increasingly complicated. Being online used to mean that you had a website address and a few pages on how to connect with your business. Expectations from customers continue to evolve and what used to work now does not. The key is to be continually learning about your customers and adapting your strategy online or in person to meet or exceed their needs. Whatever it means for you, we are here to help.