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More than 80% of people will go online to review a product before purchasing it. There are review sites, blogs and forums, to name a few, where people can go and get any information on a product or service they desire. If your product or service is not online then you are at risk of losing out on potential sales and new customers.
There are plenty of advantages of having an online business. I’m going to list a few of the more important benefits. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts – if any of these have applied to you in the past then please list your experience in the comments box.
10 Advantages of having an online business:
There are minimal start-up costs to create and run a website. All you need is a domain name and web hosting package and you’re half-way there. If your business is purely online you will save on overhead costs too which can add up to thousands of Â£Â£Â£’s a year.
Marketing = Money
The internet is a great & inexpensive tool for marketing. Online advertising is affordable and easily tracked which means you see what communication is working and what isn’t. You will be able nail down exact demographics of your target audience and you can use Search Engine Optimisation tools to improve your Google ranking and therefore bring in more traffic. E-mail marketing is also a powerful tool to help raise brand awareness, build relationships and bring in sales – this is something every business should be doing.
The most effective way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint is to run it online only. Fewer staff are needed and your employees can also work from home – save on transport costs and utilities like water and heating. Everything can be done electronically and stored online too which helps to save paper.
Your online business will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. If you are running an E-commerce site then your business can make money for you while you are sleeping or taking your kids to school. Potential customers can browse your products and services, and review them whenever they want from the comfort of their own home. Your site can extract valuable data e.g. email addresses and other important customer data which can help you to target the right audience more effectively.
Communication is Key
Your website is a point of contact for you and can act as an interactive business card. Customers are able to contact and converse with you via phone/e-mail/Twitter/Facebook etc. to ask you questions regarding your product and services. This is a great way to build relationships with your customers.
The Social Media Phenomenon
‘Social Media’ is the latest buzz term that is being thrown around every marketing meeting in the country. Don’t get left behind! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so forth are extremely valuable tools to market your business. This social media platform means that companies can interact with their customers like never before. Plus it creates another sales and marketing channel for your business to grow from.
Anyone with an internet connection can view your products or services online. From the countryside in Yorkshire to a busy corner shop in Japan and to a sleepy fishing village in South Africa, the internet is the world’s shopping window for your products.
Run your online business from your home – you could even run your online business while on holiday. Hosting companies like UK2.net, owned by the UK2 Group, are creating software which makes it easy for someone to run their own business with ease. You could be creating and sending invoices while improving your golf swing.
Professional to the last
If a potential customer searches for your company online and can’t find your website, you will automatically lose credibility in the eyes of that customer. They will, in a matter of seconds, search for the product or service you offer and go straight to the competition without second thought.
Niche is Nice
Ebay started out because someone bought a broken laser pointer off a bidding program created by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay. Pierre contacted the customer to inform him that it was infact a broken laser pointer he had just purchased, to which the customer replied: “I collect broken laser pointers.” Don’t think that if you have a niche product or service, there is no point to having it online. You are speaking to a global audience where your product could be more popular than you think.
So there you have it. 10 solid advantages to having an online business. If you would like to setup your online business through UK2.net, please click here for Web Hosting products and here for E-commerce solutions.