It’s a very valid question and even more so since the pandemic.

Prior to 2020 so many businesses like shops, face to face services, and restaurants, may not have considered getting their business online as their top priority. If you were in a physical location, like a city centre or a busy high street, you wre probably relying on the regular footfall and adding poster in windows of street signs would have attracted in those potential customers.

Since 2020, buying patterns have changed and so have customer expectations. During lockdowns more and more people embraced searching for and booking and buying online. For some it wasn;t by choice, there just wan;t any other option. These changes have continued even after things have returned to a sort of normality.

Buyers have got used to the ‘Amazon factor’ – they expect to be able to order, book, purchase online.

5 reasons to get online:

  1. People expect to be able to find businesses, services and products online
  2. Your competitors are onlne
  3. People will Google what they are looking for
  4. Many ways of just getting a presence online are free
  5. You will quite simply, miss out on business

What does the process look like now?

Well, if people are looking for a hairdressers, they aren’t going to wander into the nearest town and just walk up and down the street looking for one they like the look of. People are more time-poor than ever before. They will:

  • Search online – they will Google ‘hairdressers in my town’. Some might use devices like Alexa and ask the question, which in turn will search Bing. Then a list of hairdressers will pop up. Now if you aren’t online, your competitors will pop up.
  • Check reviews – if there are 4 local hairdresses in town that sound good, then the next step is to see what other people think about them. These will be Google reviews, Trustpilot or Facebook Page reviews. Reviews and tesimonials are very poweful in making a buying decision. In the online world, it’s the equivalent of asking your mates what they think.
  • Want to book – now what can be easier than clicking the Book Now button and seeing a list of available dates and times? It’s certainly easier than jotting down the phone number, ringing it, finding it’s engaged and then ringing agan.

If you don’t have a presence online then you are missing out on customers. It’s not jjust local customers it’s also visiting customers. Location based searching is common place now. If you are on holiday and are looking for a bakery you won;t get that business you are online.

So, where do you start?

There ate lots of free and easy routes just to get online. One of the simplest ways is to set up some social media – and that can be a Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. They are free to set up and use but it’s best to use the social media that your potential customers are using. Have a read through Which Social Media Is Right For Your Business to check where your customers are likely to hang out

If you are confused by all the lingo used when trying to think about getting online, then I have a FREE Ddgital lingo buster guide called From CSS to SEO. You can download a free copy below and start to get to grips with your SEO, DNS and ROI like a pro!

I also have a free support Facebook group called GET DIGITAL where you can ask questions and engage with other female business owners. It’s a safe place and no question is too daft!