As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to:
· Make difficult decisions,
· Always pay attention to the competition,
· Make necessary investments,
· Make long term plans &
· Act accordingly.
Yes, you already knew that. But what do you do all of the above?
Let’s say you’ve just started or have had a business for some time, but you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get where you want to be and you’re not where you expected to be. What if I told you that a website can change that? It brings you more customers, saves you time through actions that can be automated and is one of the pillars of your brand’s reputation.
Let’s see why it is difficult to run a successful business:
1. It all starts with the mentality. The political regimes and the ever-changing economy have their say in terms of the perspective that many entrepreneurs have in terms of the business environment.
In order to be successful, you must understand that the principle “I’ll figure it out” will bring your start up to its end, faster than you think.
No, it doesn’t work like that.
No, customers do not want “so and so” quality products or services.
No, it’s not enough to have a Facebook page.
No, you should not force potential customers to search for the information they need for tens of minutes in order to place an order or find out something basic (for example: the price of a product or service).
No, you can’t just rely on acquaintances and friends to promote your business.
No. No. No.
2. Success is not achieved overnight. You must be willing to work for months and even years, regardless of the chosen field.
3. It’s one thing to know what you should do, it’s another to take action. For starters, you need to survive in the marketplace, which, let’s be honest – is not the friendliest environment for small businesses or start-ups.
4. “It is more important to increase your income than to cut expenses” (Robert Kiyosaki). You don’t have to understand from this that it’s okay to throw money left and right and waste your budget on all kinds of useless products/services. But, it is not ok to be the one who takes care of everything, especially if you do not have specialized knowledge and experience in certain fields. Ideally, you should invest in whatever will help your business in the long run and make sure that the professionals you rely on are best suited for what you need.
5. A specialist will do a fantastic job, which will help your business in the long run, by the simple fact that your brand will leave a strong, positive first impression, regardless of whether we are talking about web design, marketing strategies, interior finishing projects, interior design, etc.
Focus on the business, on what you have to offer, on quality, value and growth.
If you have a small business:
· Located locally, and you want, first of all, that only those who live in your city are interested in the products or services you have to offer, a website may seem like a useless investment.
· And are offering products and services to customers from all over the country, your personal profile or a Facebook page may seem enough.
Therefore, I thought it would be useful to present the consumer’s perception of your business. Moreover, let’s talk about what a website or a Facebook page can offer you, what kind of advantages or even disadvantages are associated with each option.
What do you need for your business to be successful?
1. People who might be interested in what you have to offer;
2. People who want to know more about your brand;
3. People who once come in contact with anything related to your business may be tempted by your products or services;
4. People who become customers;
5. Customers who are satisfied with the services or products you have offered;
6. Loyal customers, who return every time they need services or products like yours.
It is important to understand that these “needs” can be solved with personalized marketing strategies, which will only work if the services/products you offer are of quality. Otherwise, those who invested once in what you sell will not rely on your business a second time. Moreover, they will tell others what an unpleasant experience they had, and this label will be associated with your brand.
What does the client want?
· Easy access to any information about your products and services, including pictures and descriptions, without having to search too much.
· Option to buy what you offer, without having to send you a private message as long as a novel. That is: click, click, click -> command sent.
· Possibility to contact you easily, without complications, to obtain additional information or a personalized offer.
In the online environment, in order to be found by potential customers, it is necessary to build your online presence. What does this mean? Why do you have to build it? What do you need?
Online presence is exactly what you imagine. Any picture, symbol, image, text, profile, pages on social networks, posts, website, etc. associated with your brand and which can be found online. Given that we are talking about your business and the reputation it will have online, it is recommended to be the one to build your online presence. Thus, you can control not only the information that is circulated about the products and services you offer, but also the experience of those who come into contact with your brand.
The reasons why a website is useful for any kind of business (except the store in the neighboring block, which everyone in the neighborhood knows anyway and which is based only on those who live in the area):
· Customers search for information on Google: nowadays, when we search for information, whether we want to find the answer to a question or we want to find a product / service, we use Google for it. The websites that appear on the pages with the results of your search are presented in the order of their relevance, which is directly connected with the topic that interests you.
Yes, you can search for information on Facebook
…but most online users use Google to find a product, service or anything else they need. In general, on Facebook you already know the name of the business you want to find.
· A website gives you the total attention of visitors: I mentioned in a post that they appear somewhere in 1500 posts, on average, on the newsfeed of a Facebook user – PER DAY (after techcrunch.com). But, when a potential customer visits your website, he will pay attention to the content you have published, the experience that your site can offer him, etc. This means that you are not competing with anyone and nothing else for the attention of visitors.
· You control the visitor experience: it is good to know that each page of your website can be customized as you see fit, so that you direct the visitor to what you want (to take advantage of a special offer, to learn more about a certain product or service, leave your email address so you can address it using marketing strategies that match the interest it shows in your brand).
On Facebook, the rules are made (and constantly changed) even by the social network. You have the option to make a few different types of posts, but the design, the way you can organize the information or the pictures, etc., how easily your followers can find what they are looking for – everything is preset and limited. The experience you can offer to potential customers is limited.
A website gives your brand credibility
If they were to choose between your business and a competitor’s business, you can be convinced that in most cases, a consumer will choose the brand that has a website. This shows that you have invested not only financial resources but also time in offering your clients the best experience. Besides all this, if you have a business that you run from home, or you have just started your activity on the market – by having a website, you show customers that your brand exists on the market, it is a brand serious, reliable and will not disappear too soon.
· A website saves you money in the long run: when you have just started your own business, you are convinced that you no longer have a budget for the website, but it is important to remember that this site can be modified, over time, to to personalize the information and experience you offer to online users. What’s even better is that you can simplify the choice that potential customers have to make when they have more options – that is, more businesses that offer similar products and services. You can convince them from the start to choose your brand!
In addition, there are ways you can make the process of buying the products or services you offer take a few minutes. That is, it only takes a few clicks for an order to be placed or to make an appointment. This option is more than advantageous, even for those who do not have large stocks of products or who do not have stocks at all. Here we are talking about professional photographers, beauty salons, private medical offices, artists who make handmade products (sensory books, cosmetics, etc.), sports clubs (for tennis training, basketball, etc.) and much more.
A website is always accessible
If you were convinced that this advantage is important only for online businesses, know that this is not the case. Even if you have a local business, a potential customer can find out what interests him, he can come across a post with a link to a page with all the details about a product or service you offer or an article that answers questions about how what you have to offer can improve his life. All this is possible because a website is there, present, regardless of whether someone visits it at 11 or 3 at night.
· A website allows you to reach as many customers as possible: that is, by having a website, you can use all the marketing strategies you think of. With the help of quality content, ads and the use of relevant keywords, even those who have not heard of your brand or who do not follow you on social networks (eg Facebook), will come across it.
The truth is that not everyone has a Facebook profile. Why miss the opportunity to attract a much larger number of potential customers?
· A website saves you time: by the fact that it is always there, that the information you share with visitors is always available, that you can answer all your questions and motivate them to do a certain action – to leave your email address, to write a message, buy what you have for sale or simply contact you. This means that you do not have to be, personally, on stage, to redirect them to the details they need or to help them complete an order.
A website provides you with an online presence indefinitely
Although I do not say that Instagram or Facebook would disappear in the coming years, it is not known in which direction the online environment will take. Do you know hi5 or myspace? Exact! Not that we could make a fair comparison, but it’s good to have a long-term vision. The website provides you with your space in the online environment. Whatever marketing strategies you have tried, as long as you do not break the rules imposed by Google and maintain your website, it contributes to building your brand reputation and will not simply disappear. He will always be there. By maintenance we mean paying for the domain, web hosting, SEO and content efforts, etc.
· The website is your property and no one has access to your private data, while Facebook lives on it. Use personal data and any information related to users for their own purposes. It’s hard to believe, but it’s something you willingly agreed to. Do you know that part with “terms and conditions” that no one reads? Exactly there is explained in many elevated words, what happens to your data.
This website is the business card of your business
It comes with a special, reliable business status and is a platform that you can build and grow with your business. It represents your brand and is the common point associated with any marketing strategies you can use, especially in the online field. Even through the physical promotional materials you offer to potential customers, you can invite them to visit your site to find out more about your products and services.
All the arguments presented above do not deny in any way the usefulness of a Facebook page created especially for your business. Any successful business in Romania has at least one page on this social network. The reasons why this platform is a suitable choice for your brand are:
· A Facebook Business page can help your brand get in direct contact with followers who are potential customers, actual customers, loyal customers or simply people who will see you and interact with the posts you make.
· Advertising on this platform is more than convenient in price. Of course, creating effective advertising campaigns is a challenge. But, it should be mentioned that Facebook uses AI (artificial intelligence), which means that as you invest in more and more promoted campaigns, the algorithm will adjust the way you place your ads in such a way as to reach as many people as possible. would be interested in your products or services.
· Facebook is useful for all types of business, even if you are just starting out. In fact, it is recommended to have a Facebook Business page to take an important step in building your online presence.
· Any post can go viral, which means you can gain popularity overnight. The reverse of the medal is that what is viral today is no longer relevant tomorrow. The popularity that lasts over time is the one that is gained over time.
So, should you invest in a website or a Facebook page to ?
Both. These options are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other so that you can put into practice the most effective marketing strategies!
What are you doing for your business’s online presence?
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