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Big Business is for Small Businesses
By John B Thompson II
Having your small business on the Internet is big business. In today’s day and time it is not smart for any business to avoid being on the Internet and if done correctly any small business can use the Internet to compete with their larger competitors and grow much faster and easier than trying to do it without a website. In fact, if a small business owner focused his attention on building and developing a successful online presence he could replace his brick-n-mortar business very quickly and have three times the annual income he has now. Simply because of bad past experiences is no reason to ignore the future of where business is going. Any small business can become a big business on the Internet, just like Amazon.com, Gateway, Dell, and E-bay.
There are many big companies that started out with nothing more than a website, Amazon, E-bay, Gateway, and Dell just being a few of the most well known names. Unfortunately, many small businesses are doing things completely wrong and not making any money off of their Internet presence. There is a reason why the “Big Boys’ are making billions of dollars on the Internet and there is no reason why the small business can not have a decent size portion of that. What the “Big Boys’ did to make sure they were successful online is what many small business owners are avoiding and that is why there are many small business websites that do absolutely nothing. The difference between what Dell or Amazon did to make sure that their website was successful and what many small businesses owners are doing for their website is very simple; focusing their efforts on promoting and marketing their website.
“It does not matter if you paid One Dollar or One Million Dollars for your website;
. . . if nobody can find it then it is completely worthless.”
Many small business owners put themselves in a position to fail on the Internet and then say that the ‘Internet’ does not work, 'websites' don't work, or any other number of excuses to blame anyone or anything else besides themselves because they did not have the success for nothing that they were looking for. What the successful websites have that the unsuccessful ones don’t is focus. The owners of successful websites are focused on promoting their website as well as increasing its productivity. The website’s productivity is based upon its ease of use, connectivity to suppliers or providers, and delivery and communication to the client. Promoting the website is a never ending task, as is updating, changing, modifying, and managing the website. Both productivity and promotion have measurable results and both of them have reasons for failure. Learning from mistakes is a part of life and a part of success.
“The majority of people don’t ride a horse to work anymore; just as now, the majority of holiday shopping is already being done on the Internet and pretty soon the majority of all shopping will be done on the Internet.”
The majority of small business owners are still focused on things that have to do with their brick-n-mortar business and not for things to do with their Internet business. Some small business owners are now waking up to the fact that getting their business on the Internet is a must while others are being reluctant. Reluctance is understandable but it is based upon fear, insecurity, and lack of pride. Those traits are not conducive to being successful and will only lead to losing out on the millions of dollars that could have been made if your business was on the Internet. Even if you do not want to grow and do not want to expand, not being on the Internet will put you out of business.
Why do some businesses experience failure on the Internet
“If your business is not on the Internet in the next five years, you will be out of business” – Bill Gates
If any small business owner wants to stay in business then they should not only get their business on the Internet but start having their website do some of their work for them. The reason why many small businesses fail on the Internet is because they look at having an Internet presence like running an ad.
“We’re not really looking to get a website for our business right now because we have already spent our advertising budget for this year.”
Many small business owners fail because they believe that once you have a website up and running on the Internet that you should start getting a lot of people calling or coming into their store because they saw the website. Some small business owners believe that the Search Engines, those being websites that people go to on the Internet to find other websites; websites like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and Google, will automatically know that they have a website up on the Internet and that they will put you in their list. Some small business owners believe that it then depends on how many hits your website gets as to how high your website will be listed in the search engines.
The Truth about Getting a Website for Your Business
A website is an online business, not an advertisement. You have to market and promote your website just like you do your regular business. Your online business will not be an over-night success and have your phone or your front door flooded with new clients. If a business website is listed in the Search Engines it does not mean that your website is now a success. But not having your business on the Internet is the worst thing you can do for your business.
“The Web has edged out the Yellow Pages to become the most popular medium for local businesses to reach prospective customers, and in certain markets, it has proven to be used 7 to 1 over the Yellow Pages.” - Business Week, July 16, 1999
It is important that you get your business onto the Internet but if that is all you do then you will be wasting your time and money. Getting your business on the Internet is not the only thing you need to do, thinking that way is looking for an easy way out, an easy way to get out of business. Getting your business onto the Internet is just the start of what you need to do but it is the first step. After you get your business onto the Internet then the rest is easy but you cannot get started without first getting a website.
By easy, I mean that you can easily make your website successful as long you know what needs to be done and maintain focus. If you do not know what to do or how to do it then find someone who does and be prepared to pay them well for their help. Remember that you will get the results you pay for and expecting successful results from someone who does not have any successful experience is dumb. You do not need to know all of the details of how things work or how things get done but knowing what needs to get done and if it gets done is important. You do not know how to build an engine for your car but you drive one to work everyday. You know it needs an oil change, air in its tires, and gas in its tank so you make sure it gets done, by someone.
The importance of the Internet for your businesses success
Whether or not you think it is important for you to have your business on the Internet is irrelevant because you are not in business for yourself, you are in business for your clients and without them you would be out of business and it is because of them that you need to make it a priority to get your business onto the Internet.
For just one reason . . . Convenience!
Nobody loves driving in traffic to get to your business. Nobody loves searching for the address to find your business. Nobody loves searching for a parking space outside of your business. And ‘Nobody’ has a lot more better things to do than deal with you.
I know that sounds rough but that is real life. People want convenience and it is a lot easier for them to get onto the Internet from their home computer than it is to pack the kids up into the car and drive down to your place of business or try to schedule for you to come out to their home. Your competitors already have a website and if they’re doing things even half-way right then they will be making a lot more money than you this year.
For another reason . . . Trust!
People who do not know you do not trust you. Nobody likes to be ‘sold’ something and they do not feel threatened by your website. They do feel threatened by your voice on the phone or in person whether you think they are or not. You may think your just answering questions but if you’re talking to them then you must be trying to get them to buy something and that is pressure on them whether you’re asking them to buy or not.
Some small businesses do not feel that they need a website because they go out to people’s homes to give them estimates and feel as though they already have enough work. For those businesses ‘Trust’ is a big issue and having a website could save a lot of time. Would you invite someone over to your home to take a look at your products or services and see if they want to buy them or not? Well then you should not expect them to feel comfortable if they have to invite you over to their house to do the same. Use a website to show off your portfolio and you will do two things; 1) Disqualify people who are not looking for your exact services and 2) Disqualify people who cannot afford your quality of services which will eliminate your wasted trips out to give them estimates and allow for you to stay focused on the possible clients that can afford you and are interested in exactly what it is you have to offer. Time is money, you need more of both.
People feel more comfortable with things which they are familiar with. That is one of the reasons why you might have repeat customers but that is also one reason why you have a hard time getting ‘New’ customers. Having your business on the Internet is the most non-threatening, the most economical, and the fastest and most effective way to build and grow your business.
“Small Business that use the Internet have grown 46% Faster than those who did not.”
- American City Business Journals
"The average annual income of small businesses that use the Internet is 58% greater
than the small business in general"
- IDC Reports
“The Web has edged out Direct Mail to become the most popular medium for local businesses
to reach prospective customers."
- Business Week Magazine
Because the Internet 's
E-commerce Boom has just started
There are many small business owners that get the “Dot Com” boom confused with the Internet Boom and the E-commerce Boom. The “Dot Com” boom was the rush for all of the larger companies to buy their companies domain name and get their business onto the Internet. The Internet boom was the rush for all of the people to get their computer connected to the Internet. What has not happened yet, fully, is the E-commerce Boom. That is the rush for everybody to start buying and selling things off of the Internet. That boom has already started for the big businesses and it is just getting started for the smaller businesses. Now is the perfect time to get your small business onto the Internet, especially with the many advancements that have been made in e-commerce technology, Internet security, fraud protection, and the now lower prices making it much more affordable. Waiting until the economy goes up means the prices will go back up.
In a National Survey it was found that:
- For the past two years, the amount of money spent online is greater than the amount of money spent in retail stores during the Holiday Shopping season.
- 60% of the US population is connected to the Internet.
- 58 Million US Adults accesses the Internet on a daily basis.
- Every Second the Internet gets 1.3 New Adult Users added.
- 87% of Internet users use the Internet to access information about local businesses.
In a Study done through the Washington Post, it was found that:
- The majority of purchases made by consumers were at least researched online first before the purchase was made from a local merchant but many did purchase online.
- The majority of the population has a good opinion about online shopping and would recommend it to a friend – they referred websites to an average of 12 friends.
- Business Owners and/or Business Decision Makers also use the Internet for the majority of their research and decision making purposes, especially to find and look at other companies to partner up with or do business with.
The only people that already know who you are your current and past clients. Even if you have good steady business coming in from your current clients it is important for you to keep your feelers out for new business, after all, how many of your past and current clients are also doing business with your competitors?
Many of the largest companies started out with no real office, all they did was take advantage of a new way of doing business. This new way of doing business is on the Internet and having your business online and listed in the search engines with a high ranking for your local area has got to be a priority.
The Search Engines are NOT a charity
and they will not list you Automatically!
There are many small business owners who believe that the search engines are free and that they will find your businesses website as soon as it is published onto the Internet then list on their websites search results automatically. Right now there are very few search engines which will list your website for free and although Google states that their search engine will seek out and find new websites it is the fact that they will, "If your website has a link going to it off of another website which is highly ranked in the Google search index." Your website can be found by Google if there is another website with a link pointing to yours. The hard part is finding one that has a high rank on Google to place a link on their website pointing to yours, especially since you have no ranking with Google and they only want to place links to websites which have the same or higher ranking than their own.
The Truth about Getting a High Ranking on the Search Engines
The truth is that if you do not tell the Search Engine companies that you have a website on the Internet then you have a very slim chance of being listed on their website and even slimmer chance of obtaining a high ranking. In fact, in most cases it will cost you money to get your website listed on the Search Engines and each one has their own fee. For example, if you want your website to be listed in Yahoo’s directory it will cost you $299 just to have them take a look at your website and there is no guarantee that your website will be approved and there is no refund if it is not. The majority of Search Engines only use what is known as Cost-per-click to get your business listed in their search engines results. If you have ever done a search on any search engines then chances are you have seen that on the top of every page there are a few listing which are always highlighted in either pastel pink, blue, or green. These are listing which are paying to be there. How much are they paying, well it depends on the keywords they are targeting. For example: if they were targeting the keywords "Real Estate Mortgage" then every time someone clicks on their listing it could cost them as much as $10 to $35 PER CLICK. If they targeted the keywords more specifically to something like "Los Angeles Mortgage Companies" then their Cost-per-click could be as low as $1 or $4 per click. That is why the search engines are not free. It is a very expensive and highly competitive industry that has the capability of making a few hundred thousand every day. Each major search engine offers CPC (also know as Cost-per-click) advertising and it has made a lot of business broke by not managing it properly and not optimizing it to produce the best results.
As stated in a few articles you will find on this site, there are ways to get listed on most of them without paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month. There are only two search engine’s that are free, one is Google which everybody uses, and the other is DMOZ which most people do not even know about but is actually more important than Google. We offer services to guarantee that your website is listed in the top of the search results without paying each search engine astronomical fees. We offer a Do-it-yourself Search Engine Submission solution, called TrafficBlazer, for the person who cannot afford paying us to do it and we offer very affordable and effective plans for the serious entrepreneur who wants to make sure they are listed at the top for specific keywords. Our search engine technicians will even send you a monthly report on your ranking status and their submission results.
How to Guarantee Your Online
Business Venture Does NOT Fail
As with everything else in life, you can make a choice to struggle and do it yourself or you can enlist the help of someone who already knows what you need and how to do it. I personally have been learning and studying everything there is to know about how to make a business successful online since 1999 when I first started this company and I put a lot of time, money, and energy into making sure that every consultant working with us is learning that same knowledge. In my experience and in the experience of many of my clients, it is always far, far more expensive to try and do-it-on your own than hiring me or my staff to help you. You have a lot better chance of learning what really works from any of us than you do trying to research it online and sift through all of the phony garbage that is out there. If you want to make sure that your online business is a resounding success online then let me help you.
I will be happy to give you a free consultation and give the best advice I have to offer, whether you decide to business with us or not. It is my intention to help you avoid a lot of the same mistakes made by many small business owners and to help you make your online business venture a pleasant and enjoyable one.
To schedule a free personal consultation with me, John B Thompson II, please take the time to fill out our form so that I can get a good idea of what type of business you have, a good time to call you, and what interest you have for being online. Click here to get started
We can help you to save several thousand dollars compared to hiring a typical web design company and give you a lot more than a basic "average' website. With our powerful web-based software system you can have a very dynamic and state-of-the-art website that will save you a lot of money upfront and even more in the long-run.
Take advantage of the benefits that only the Internet
can give your business.