It’s been estimated that between 50 to 60 percent of small businesses don’t have websites, and are content with word-of-mouth marketing— especially if they only cater to local clientele. Yet, statistics show that over 90 percent of consumers these days search online for products and services. So a good many of you are truly missing out because your competitors are using local Internet marketing. Declining a web presence means that the customers who aren’t finding you online will be finding them. Read on to learn several ways that the lack of a website is actually costing you business.
Referrals are a wonderful thing, but what happens after someone refers you? The first thing a prospective client will do is check the Internet for you. They will do a search for your site as well as reviews. Even though you have a fabulous small business that's been around for years, if they come up with no website you've lost the opportunity to connect with that person. Right or wrong, the fact is that people prejudge companies based on their websites, and having a good web presence will provide credibility to "offline" referrals.
Some new clients may actually be old customers who used your services or products in the past and would like to use you again, but may have lost your contact information. Locating your website is much less painless than digging through scraps of paper for an old phone number.
An assertive web presence should be a crucial part of your small business marketing strategy. Stay tuned for Part II.