So you own a small business. You probably have much larger competitors and gaining a foothold seems like a huge uphill battle. Rejoice – the internet is here.
The internet is the great leveler. Contrary to the opinion of several women I know. . . .size does not matter. What matters is how well you use the (largely free) resources at your disposal. A SMF can punch way beyond its weight online, helped by the fact that budgets are nothing like as large as those needed for traditional media.
Small business’ tend to be run by experts in their fields. If you did not have unique selling points you would not be in business. Those unique selling points may be superior service or a superior quality product. You know it, you believe in it. How do you get the world to sit up and take notice?
SEO is essential. If your website cannot be found you will not gain any attention. Further more, it is important that your website reflects your core values. People buy from people. This is still true on the internet. You must make a personal connection. A shoddy website will have all your hard earned visitors leaving as quickly as they arrived.
There is a temptation to use cheap web publishing services.
I am all for value, but not at the expense of professionalism. Your website MUST reflect your business.
SEO is not rocket science.
A small amount of SEO training will get you a long way. This is particularly true in the Irish market where there is far less competition. A company with 3 employees can compete with a company with 300 employees with a little time and effort.
My small business does not have the budget for online services.
Here is where you have to ascertain how useful internet traffic can be to your business. Your budget for advertising in traditional media is spent on what works for you. The same rules apply to the internet. There must be a return on investment. The beauty of the internet is that shoestring budgets are often more than acceptable. It all depends on the amount of time you and your staff can dedicate to promoting your business. I have got business’ off the ground for under €3k. That includes a SEO friendly website, online marketing training and a solid foundation in SEO theory and practice. More than that, the full amount does not have to be paid up-front.
We at webshed believe in training for small business. We can show you how to make the internet work for you. This gives you control and reduces costly errors.
Small business owners are passionate about their companies. This makes small business’ a joy to work with. Enthusiasm is infectious.