Taking your business online

A photo of a man using a laptop.

If you run a small business and you don’t have an online presence, it’s time to catch up – and fast. A survey of small businesses by Clutch in 2016 showed that up to half don’t have any web presence at all.1 Worryingly, according to research by Experian, a lack of an online presence is one of the top three reasons for start-up businesses failing.2

Even if your business is well-established and you’re doing just fine with word of mouth and passing trade, all of that may be about to change.

According to the ONS, 76% of British adults use the internet every day. A survey that they conducted in 2014 showed that a whopping 74% of people bought goods or services online. Three years on, you can bet that this figure is on the rise.

Why wouldn’t your business be online?

From our experience, there are three main reasons why a small business owner may have no web presence:

  • Fear – They might not be tech-savvy or may be afraid of “looking stupid”
  • Cost – They may worry that a web presence will be expensive and may think that websites are for “big companies”.
  • Apathy – There may be a perception that their business doesn’t need a web presence. After all, they’ve managed this far without one, why would they need one?

Think about the last few times that you needed a product or service. Yes, you might have gone by a recommendation from a friend. Perhaps you happened to be passing a place that offered what you needed. However, I’ll bet that very recently you used Google to find what you were looking for. Also, if it was an actual “bricks and mortar” shop, you may have used Google Maps to get there too.

Cost is no longer a barrier to getting your business online. Listing your business on Google Maps, with or without a website, is totally free of charge. If somebody nearby searches for a business like yours, you’re in with a chance of winning a customer that you may never have had.

Not having technical skills need not be a barrier these days either. It’s so easy to add your business to online directories like Google Maps, Yell and Facebook; fill out a form with a few basic details about the business and you’re done.

If you can afford it, you may want a full website to show off your product or service. You should expect to pay no more than £1000 for a straightforward, attractive website that gives details about your business and the products that you offer.

Even if you feel that your business is thriving at the moment without a web presence, there is no downside to taking your business online. It’s not expensive to do and the rewards can be huge.

If you’d like to discuss your options and how Ombush can help you to get your business online, get in touch today.

1 Small Business Websites in 2016: A Survey

2 Experian – Lack of online presence is one of the top three reasons for start-ups failing

3 Vizulate – Lack of online presence a major factor behind SME failures