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Five Steps to Bringing Local Business Online

Let’s discover what it takes to move your business online and why you should do it.


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Sophie Zoria

3 years ago | 4 min read

Online sales help not only expand the circle of potential buyers but also help to simplify business functioning in general. Let’s discover what it takes to move your business online and why you should do it at the times of global quarantine.

Seeking New Ways to Do Business During Pandemic

If you have been planning to go online for a long time, be sure - right now is the best time to do it. Many companies have already realized that quarantine is not a hindrance to sales if they reorganize.

Businesses are shifting their activities to online because this is where most of the buyers "live" now. The new approach allowed them not only to stay afloat but also to accumulate leads from their competitors.

Many entrepreneurs who previously failed to appreciate the importance of their presence on the Internet are now convinced of the need for a transition.

Almost any company can organize all or at least part of their work online. Besides, once you move online, you can use business automation tools that will save your time and money.

If you are still doubting whether you need to shift your business online, here are several reasons to persuade you:

  • Use online opportunities to expand your horizons and enter new markets. An offline business customer base is usually limited to one city or even a region of one city. The transition to online following clients removes this limitation because virtual services can be provided to a client anywhere in the world.
  • Launch lead magnets to meet potential customers. And then, monetize the resulting bases. Maintain relationships with leads and warm up the base so that they become your customers.
  • If you transfer employees to remote work, this is a great opportunity to debug the internal processes of the company.

Anti-Crisis Guide to Save your Business

The quarantine and coronavirus have caused a massive downturn in the economy, forcing entire businesses to adjust to new, more complex realities.

Therefore, if you do not want to lose a business that has been established over the years, start selling and providing services via the Internet. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to move offline business online.

Step One: Ensure Social Media Presence

The activity of social networks literally exploded during the quarantine period. Take advantage of it! To get organic growth, you have to spend money on advertising; still, you can start promoting even with a minimal budget.

Add QR codes in local offices/stores or send SMS notifications/emails to existing customers to raise awareness of your online presence.

YouTube should definitely be part of your social media strategy too. Shooting a professional video, of course, requires investment. But even ordinary reviews of goods, objects or production processes recorded on a smartphone can attract your target audience and increase the level of customer confidence.

Step Two: Sign Up to Google My Business

Google My Business is a free and convenient service that allows you to increase your company's visibility in local search and it's time to understand the specifics of using this tool.

After registration, you get the opportunity to add the address of the office of the company, store or production to Google Maps. By confirming and updating information, you will help people find you when searching for local and brand queries, keep in touch with them, study statistics, etc.

Step Three: Develop Your Website

In the age of the Internet, not having a website for your company means ignoring the obvious benefits. A corporate website is a mandatory attribute of a company that works for results. Creation of a website for business will help to solve the following tasks:

  • attracting the target audience;
  • establishing new business relationships;
  • searching for new employees;
  • gathering customer feedback;
  • formation of a positive brand image;
  • solving various business problems.

For maximum site visibility, it is necessary to register a site in directories and add it to aggregators, start writing quality content relevant to your niche, and share news on social networks.

Creating quality content is essential both for business success and brand recognition. With the most popular CMS in the world with 60% market share - WordPress - you can easily create your site and start promotion.

For both convenience and efficiency, install plugins to extend WP functionality as you need it. For example, an appointment booking plugin can help you set up selling offline services via your WordPress website (the functionality not available in WordPress right away).

Step Four: Develop a Marketing Strategy

You can use a variety of channels for online promotion:

  • contextual advertising: advertisements will be seen only by interested customers, selected for them based on their own key queries;
  • SEO-promotion: a set of measures that are implemented in order to increase the position of the site in the search results;
  • targeted advertising on social networks: your advertisements will also be shown only to interested users in some of the most visited communities;
  • e-mail mailing: almost all Internet users have mailboxes, and mailing can be carried out using automatic services;
  • crowd marketing: this is a kind of word of mouth when users share information about your products and services.

Step Five: Work and Analyze

No one is immune from mistakes. When implementing your online business development strategy in practice, do not forget to conduct a timely analysis of the measures taken. This will allow you to identify errors in time and quickly eliminate them.

Weeding out ineffective channels and investing in the ones that work will provide the most bang for your buck, allowing you to achieve positive results without a waste of time.

Final Word

Any crisis situation means not only losses for business, but also new opportunities. The success of bringing offline business online primarily depends on the relevance of your offer, the search trends, and closely intervened yet diverse marketing efforts.

Of course, some tasks will have to be entrusted to specialists in both IT and marketing, but there are some you can complete on your own following a wealth of guides available online now. Thus, remember: the crisis will surely pass, but online sales will keep bringing profit. This is your chance and it's time to take it!

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Sophie Zoria

Sophie Zoria is a passioned journalist writing about tech and marketing trends, mobile apps, and design. Check out her Medium page: https://medium.com/@sophie_65309


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