14 March 2017
We live in a society which is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, which means businesses doing it ‘old school’ could well be missing out on spreading the word about their products, winning new customers and improving the bottom line. Here’s some advice on improving your online shop window.
Businesses could be losing out on up to £20,000 a year if they don’t embrace the internet.
Right now in the UK, there are around one million small businesses with no presence online, according to a report by Do It Digital and YouGov. And researchers claim they could be losing out on a total of £20.2 billion in potential sales as a result.
Do It Digital’s poll discovered that a quarter of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have not yet set up a website. And even more - four in ten – have no accounts on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
The survey also found that half of those businesses had no intention to get online this year.
The Do It Digital Campaign aims to help small businesses get to grips with the internet and increase their online presence. Supported by The Federation of Small Businesses, the idea is to help the owners of start-ups and small businesses feel more confident using the internet to help them run their company and achieve their goals.
Do It Digital’s director Michelle Ovens MBE says: “All evidence supports the belief that there are clear financial benefits for small businesses embracing digital. But we also know that many don't have the time or access to the expertise to take advantage of what's available to them.
“We want to help change that, one step at a time, by showing that digital needn't mean a leap into the unknown by giving them access to support and guidance on how to engage in a way that is best for their particular business.”
BizSpace is known as ‘the place small businesses call home for a good reason. We’re dedicated to helping our customers develop their companies exactly how they want them, acting as a silent partner to give them the support they need. That includes sharing useful advice and info when we can, as well as doing our bit to provide great, flexible workspace.
Here are our top tips for embracing technology and getting your business online:
Consider what you want to use the internet for. Do you simply want to raise awareness of your brand or make it easier for potential customers to find you? Would you like to start selling your products online? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you realise the key features your website needs and whether or not you need professional help to create it.
Have a look at what the competition is doing. Ask yourself what you like about their websites and what you are not keen on. Researching what your rivals are doing will help you gain an idea of how you want your website to be. The best websites are easy to navigate with clean and simple designs and a clear message about what the business is and what it can offer its customers.
Don’t worry too much about getting it perfect straightaway as you can improve and develop your site over time. The main thing is to make sure your business is out there and that your website includes the vital details you want your customers to know. If you have a decent budget, you may want to get a professional web developer to build your website for you, but if you’re creative and have the time to get to grips with it, there are plenty of platforms which allow you to create your own using simple templates.
You might find it worthwhile to take a simple course to develop your digital skills. Don’t worry though, as training doesn’t have to be expensive. Internet giant Google offers some free bitesize online courses to help you learn more about creating a website, using social media and online marketing.
Creating a Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram profile is free and simple but can be a good way of engaging with your target market and getting your name out there. Remember to only post things which will reflect well on your business – save anything controversial for your personal accounts – and use it as an opportunity to communicate with customers and let people know about your products and services as well as any special offers.