Are Small Businesses Taking Full Advantage of the Internet?

The millions of small businesses nationwide are always looking for ways they can improve their brands, customer bases, revenues, and so on, and thus seek the best tools for doing so. However, numerous studies have shown a disconnect among owners between that drive for broader success and the use of online options.

The fact of the matter is that many businesses, particularly those with relatively small numbers of employees, may have some sort of online presence – whether it’s a website, social media account, or the like. However, many may not do the simple task of keeping that portal updated regularly, according to a report from Forbes. Further, those who do not have their own online presence in this regard sometimes choose to set up store pages through Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and other such sites.

While this is not necessarily a bad idea – anything to get a company’s name or product out there can’t actually be bad – it also doesn’t do very much to create or cultivate a company’s own brand, the report said. Most people who buy a product on one of the large online marketplaces may not take note of where they bought it from – other than that big-name site- and thus it may not help to promote a small business brand very much, if at all. Having one’s own site, or even online shop built into it, is therefore crucial for helping online users put a face to the name, so to speak, and therefore potentially engender customer loyalty.

Keep it diverse
Of course, using those sites may help in another way: Giving access to consumers’ email addresses, which in turn can be used to market directly to people who may like or have a need for the kinds of products a small business offers, the report said. However, these sites should probably only be used in addition to a regular and constantly updated web presence, so that all potential avenues for engagement are being utilized.

Owners who want to shore up their bottom lines may do well to give themselves a greater chance for reaching more customers’ eyes, but should also look inward to ensure their costs aren’t too prohibitive. That might include finding more affordable small business insurance policies, such as those for liability insurance, as a means of potentially saving thousands of dollars annually.