The Internet is vital to business success today. Whether you are a startup or an established small business, there are key things you can do to tap into the substantial opportunities it provides. The following are seven key ways to leverage the power of the Internet:
1. Make Your Website Interactive
A website shouldn’t just be a static menu of services and information. Strive to make it as interactive and engaging as possible. In addition to an online store or scheduling calendar for your services, adding a forum, guest book, game, contest, newsletter signup and downloadable content can all compel current and potential customers to become frequent return visitors.
2. Social Media Presence
An additional way to increase and enhance interaction with clients is through maintaining social media accounts for your business. Facebook is a popular option, but your business might benefit more from the brevity of Twitter or the visual appeal of Instagram or YouTube. If it makes sense, maintain multiple social media accounts and keep them active with timely posts and relevant content. Social media management can be outsourced; however, many small business owners enjoy engaging with customers online.
3. Do Competition Research
The Internet makes it extremely easy to know who your main competitors are so that you can compare your model with theirs. What are they doing well? You can also learn from their mistakes and find opportunities in the marketplace. Determine unmet customer needs and adjust your own business model accordingly. Hoovers.com offers company profiles, and KnowX.com offers public records research.
4. Comparison Shop For Vendors and Supplies
Even if your business has worked with a supplier for some time, keep in mind that market conditions can change. New vendors that are less expensive may become options. Search online regularly for new vendors or alternatives to your current suppliers. This simple step could help you to save substantially on costs.
5. Go High Speed
If your company will be using the Internet extensively for uploading, downloading and streaming content, consider upgrading your service to a faster speed. The cost per month will be worth the time saved and efficiency gained.
6. Focus On SEO For Your Website
You can have the most beautifully designed website, but if it isn’t getting traffic, it won’t serve its purpose. Strive to optimize your content with the most relevant keywords and phrases. Use PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising if your website isn’t coming up high in the organic searches.
7. Keep Your Site Active
You can keep your site relevant to both the search engines and visitors by updating and enhancing it regularly. Maintain a blog and post valuable content at least several times per week. Add interactive content like podcasts, videos and downloadable ebooks.
Is your business tapping into the wealth of opportunities that the Internet has made available? Use these seven tips to leverage the power of the Internet and take your business to new levels of success.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure, and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer