An online presence is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a need-to-have for all businesses.
We have experienced how important it is to have an online presence in this lockdown period of COVID-19. This is an eye-opener for all business owners and future startups on the usefulness and needs to have an online presence.
Africa is still backward in this movement due to limited internet coverage and education of the population but there is a steady increase in the way customers use the internet thanks to widespread cheap mobile devices mainly shipped from china that has brought up this shift in behavior.
It’s rare these days that someone will go out to buy anything, especially electronics or fashion items without first consulting google or local advert websites like Jumia and Jiji formerly OLX to select a matching item or even make direct orders for delivery.
Today business owners no longer have to go abroad to China to fetch products to sell. Everything is done online and the shipment is delivered to them within a few days to weeks.
Every business must adapt to this movement for future productivity and a wide customer base.
Why Every Business Needs a Digital Presence
Traditional businesses basically schools, organizations, hospitals, Lawfirms and others with a physical location and execute business either in person, by phone, or mail tend to ask “Why should I take my traditional company online?”.
There is much information about doing business on the internet or “putting your business online”. Too much, it may just sound too complicated or too risky. But there are many good reasons to begin selling (and running your business) online. Here are the selected reasons for you to establish an online presence for your offline business
- Improving Your Company Image
There is no doubt customers/clients begin to wonder how serious you are about business if you have no website, besides a website is a very important tool that your customers will look out for to take your business seriously. An online presence specifically with a website pays off immediately since it’s among the first things a customer will consider looking at before even contacting
- 24/7 365 Hour Availability
Your clients and prospects need to read about your products and place orders at any time, day or night. On regular business days or holidays. You will be open 24hrs, 7days a week, and 356 days a year taking orders, responding to inquiries, and getting to know your customers since with the internet, websites are available day in day out and throughout the nights.
- Better Customer Support
The internet allows you to answer questions, give sales lectures, and solve customer problems all without taking any of your time. Create a video, a product specification sheet, or a FAQ (frequently asked question) section once, and you can direct clients to that information for years. Not only does it save you time, but you’ll be providing better service. Your clients and prospects are looking for specific information, such as:
- Before they make a buying decision
- To solve a problem with an existing purchase
- Researching alternatives before making a buying decision
With an online presence, you can give them just the information that they are looking for, and just when they are looking for it. This means fewer phone calls with technical questions and more sales. You can spend more time working on the revenue-generating activities in your business and spend less time handling common customer service issues.
- Very Low Start-up Costs
Starting out online means very low startup costs. You have no buildings to construct, no vehicles to buy and few (if any) staff to hire. Simply build your site and start selling. If you are already selling offline then the transition can be very smooth. You continue selling the same products that you know and have. Putting your company online simply gives you a new source of customers. You can build it yourself with self-hosted content management systems like WordPress and Joomla or you can pay someone as low as $100 to get it started. The beauty of WordPress is that you can update the website yourself or even build it all by yourself without any coding knowledge only to pay for hosting.
- Live / Work from Anywhere
Whether you have a physical location for your business or not you can tap into countless markets for your products using the internet.
As long as you have a solid internet connection you can live virtually anywhere while you conduct your online business. Many people live in one continent, have their hosting on another, and their warehouse on yet another. The world has gotten very small and you can take advantage of this. You might have missed out in this COVID-19 period but those who had websites were selling from home. Don’t wait any longer, the time is now to get online.
There are a lot more reasons why you should take your business online like customer feedback and product reviews, Reduces Operating Costs, Increase Company Responsiveness to orders and more.
Primary or secondary, you can automate your registration with a website, you can backup the school files and data into an online database on your hosting server, add transparency in all activities of your school using the internet and let those looking for your school find your contacts, location, and information when they search schools.
Answer questions, doctors appointment done easy and conveniently and emergency cases reach you 24/7 with proper contacts displayed, prices and more on your website
Accept donations with mobile money on clicking a button, general and routine information sharing with the congregation and contacts to your church just in case one needs to contact you and then be contacted directly through email and forms on your website
For Small Businesses
Start today, sell nationwide or even worldwide, sell from home, become a business owner even with no location. For as long as you can deliver the products to the customer you are good to go. Showcase your products in style and look like a well established and organized business in your small size. Compete and out-compete with the giants offering the same products and gain endless results.
Get online today, no excuses should be made you can start small and grow it steadily, start with what you have. It’s important to start, you will figure out the rest as you go on. If you need help Comment or Email me