- Should you finally move your local small business online?
The way local small businesses operate is in a constant state of progress. From marketplace to in your face, telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople, businesses work hard to adjust with consumer needs and comforts. And now, consumers have the luxury of ordering their products and services right from the comfort of their computer screen.
This means that customers are able to easily search and research for the best products to suit their needs.
But what does this mean for local small business owners who are trying to shift to an online marketing presence?
Not every local small business is ready for online
The main difficulty that many small business owners face when pivoting to online is that they don’t see how their businesses can operate without in-person clientele.
This issue became especially clear when COVID forced many people inside their homes. Online shopping rates went up considerably and delivery companies became swamped with orders. However, many fitness studios had to permanently shut their doors because they were unable to generate revenue during these “unprecedented times.”
However, it’s critical for businesses to cultivate some form of an online presence.
Reconsider the online buyer persona
When starting a business, one of the first things the owner must consider is the target audience. Usually, the owner would create a “buyer persona,” which is an imaginary person who encompasses the target audience’s ideals. Using this buyer persona, the business owner has a better grasp on how to market their products and services, as well as what products and services to offer.
When pivoting a local small business online, the business owner must reconsider the buyer persona. By doing so, the business can adapt to the new normal of the online industry. If the target audience has to adjust to a new lifestyle, it only makes sense that the business must also adjust to meet the needs of their audience.
It’s all about knowing your market and what would work best for them. If you need help understanding your buyer persona, click here.
The key strategy is innovation
Bobbie Brown, a prominent name in the makeup community, used to only offer face-to-face consultations in stores so makeup lovers could find a product that matches their skin tone in person. However, when the pandemic forced people to distance themselves by six feet when in public, in-person consultations became impossible. So, Brown decided to launch an online consultation system to adapt.
Many gyms have had to offer new options for working out depending on the comfort of their members. Live video classes replaced the gym’s stuffy studio, and some classes meet up outside at different parks.
These are just a few examples of how some companies innovated and adapted to the current state of things. As a small business owner, it’s important to be able to adjust and adapt to new situations as they are presented to you.
Innovation is key.
Who are consumers listening to?
With the ability to research any product at a moment’s notice, consumers these days have more options and information than ever before. But their number one most trusted source is other people who vouch for a product or service. People are more likely to listen to reviews than to reach out to a company directly. That’s because people trust other people, and distrust big corporations.
Therefore, one of the best sources of marketing is through social media. By allowing space for the customers to voice their opinions, a small business can raise brand awareness and help their brand’s integrity.
Speaking of allowing space for consumers to speak their minds, consumers are also looking for multiple avenues to contact YOU, and as the business owner, you need to get comfortable with that. Different ways to increase your accessibility are by creating social media accounts on various platforms, updating your current website, and posting a working phone number and email address in easy-to-find places.
Conclusion: Don’t be afraid to learn something new
When running a small local business, it may seem difficult to shift to an online presence. However, it’s important for business owners to adapt to change as the world around them adapts. That might mean learning a few new skills for online business, but it will all be worth it in the end.
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