By HANNAH POLK
For the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
The days of Yellow Pages are long gone.
Instead of flipping open the phone book, people often turn to Google or social media to find a provider for the service they need.
However nostalgic, this change has made it easier for businesses and consumers to find each other.
Whether it’s a website, social media accounts, or both, having a strong online presence allows small businesses to reach a wider audience, establish credibility, and streamline their operations.
Reach your consumers
As Goran Paun explains in an article for Forbes, having an online presence is the most efficient way to communicate with consumers.
“In the last decade or so in particular,” Paun writes, “many consumers have become accustomed to finding what they want online.”
By having a website or other online presence, small businesses can attract customers from all over the country, rather than just those who happen to be in the local area.
This can be especially useful for business owners located in more rural or remote areas.
Craft your image
Having a strong online presence can help small businesses to establish credibility and build trust with customers.
“It gives you the opportunity to set the narrative on who you are as a brand and set yourself apart from competitors,” Paun writes.
A professional-looking website demonstrates to the consumer that you take pride in your business and care about the customer experience.
An online presence also allows a business owner to curate the consumers first impression of the company.
Whatever you want your customers to know about your business can be achieved through graphic design, copywriting, and photos – all of which can be posted on a website or on social media.
Save time and money
Creating an online space for a small business can also be a benefit when it comes to controlling costs.
Small businesses can streamline many of their business processes, such as marketing, sales, and customer service by using online tools and platforms.
Using a Facebook page, for example, to promote an event your business will be hosting instead of placing an advertisement in print can save you cash.
Being online can also help you to save time and resources, which can be especially important for small businesses that have limited budgets and staff.
Many website platforms offer customer service tools to help with the intake of client requests and organize customers trying to contact you.
There are many more tools available to help small businesses succeed, but most of them are online, so building your online presence is a great place to start.