If you listen to local radio, you may have heard recently the Government local radio ads about “Doing more online”, a campaign targeted at small businesses in the UK. The campaign’s objective is to help small business improve their use of the Internet to find more customers and take advantage of the benefits of on-line marketing to be more efficient, and reduce costs.
They also published some rather surprising statistics; apparently nearly half of the small businesses in the UK, that is sole traders and businesses with just a handful of employees, still aren’t making best use of the Internet. To put things in perspective, this year the forecast is that UK Internet sales will be worth around £164 Billion!
They also have a very helpful website that provides a lot of useful initial information about getting a business on-line and features an interesting video about a plumber called Hamish who explains how important having a website has been to his business. The video is included below so you can take a look.
Getting on-line is actually not that difficult these days, even if you are on a tight budget you can still get started. If you keep it simple there is a lot you can do yourself and this can get you started – better than not having a website at all. Once you get a bit more established and have a bit more money to spend on your marketing, you can look at investing in a professionally designed website that is better suited to your business needs and should work better for you.
Of course, getting your website up and running is only the start of marketing your business, just making it live doesn’t mean lots of people will start visiting it and work will come flooding in. “Build it and they will come” is a myth you may have heard – they won’t!
Picture your web site (and/or blog) as the hub of your marketing plan, you need to use other marketing channels to drive traffic to it. This can be a mix of different marketing methods such as Pay-per-click advertising, social media, flyers, advertisements etc. The more channels you have the better, but you need to first understand your target customers and markets and the messages you need to get across. Maybe that is a topic for a future post.