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HOW TO SUCCEED AS A SMALL BUSINESS WITHOUT A BRICK-AND-MORTAR PRESENCE

Provided by: - December 7, 2022

By HANNAH POLK

For the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce

Times are changing, and businesses no longer needs a brick-and-mortar presence to be successful.

Online businesses proved their importance during the pandemic. When brick-and-mortar stores closed due to public health measures, consumers depended on virtual retailers to meet their needs.

There is no shortage of exemplary cases for successful businesses without a physical storefront.

Amazon, one of the largest companies in the world, began as a simple webpage on Jeff Bezo’s computer. Even today, as the ecommerce enterprise net worth has expanded exponentially past the billion-dollar mark, Amazon develops its revenue almost entirely from online users.

While you may not be striving for a multi-billion-dollar corporation right away, there are simple ways you can promote growth and success for an online-only business.

Do Your Research

Before you gain new customers, it’s important to know what kind of people you are trying to reach. The more defined and narrow your audience, the easier it will be to reach them.

Conducting market research can help to narrow down a target demographic so you can be sure any marketing strategies used will be the most effective.

Lorna Van Straaten, general manager of VS Publishing Inc., wrote an article outlining how to have a successful online business.

“Advertise where your customer is found,” Van Straaten wrote.

It seems like an obvious piece of advice, but if you don’t know where your customer is found to begin with, it becomes crucial to find out.

Make your presence known

Not having a physical business location means losing the organic advertising a large store-front sign would provide. This is a small loss, however, in relation to the vast selection of opportunities online marketing allows.

A few tools for promoting a business online:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website appear higher in search engine results when certain keywords are used.
  • Writing a blog and attaching it to your website will create organic traffic when someone reads the blog post.
  • Offering a newsletter delivered by email creates a free way to reach your most engaged audience. BONUS: Try offering exclusive deals to members of the newsletter to increase subscriptions.

Create a seamless user experience

Internet users have come to expect speed and efficiency when surfing the web. Any slow loading webpages are immediate deterrents for visitors.

If you’re not a computer wiz, it’s perfectly acceptable to hire someone who can ensure the backend of your website is running optimally for user experience.

An easy online payment system is essential to speed up the process for customers, too.

Van Straaten suggests using trusted payment sources, such as Shopify or PayPal, and giving your customers multiple opportunities to pay.

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