I have been a student of the online, internet, web (choose your favourite word) marketing world for the past 2 years. I started off as an affiliate marketer and very much a consumer of the MMO (make money online) products which are released nearly much every day. My failure to make a decent income strictly as an affiliate marketer, coupled with the fact that I could not stick with a single system (known as the shiny object syndrome in the industry) made me reassess my position. I became very frustrated with the fact that I was inundated with emails of the next buy me, do nothing and earn $1,000 a day product on a daily basis. For that reason, I made the decision to unsubscribe off every “guru’s” email list and commit to following a tried and tested system that provides real value to “brick and mortar” business.
Which brings me right onto my question on internet marketing and the small business owner. After devoting the past few months to studying the principles of traditional marketing I am convinced there are opportunities for small local businesses to use internet marketing to drive in store sales.
I Do Not Need A Website
This is one of the objections the majority of the small business owners I have had conversations with come up with pretty readily. ” I am just the local butchers, what would I do with a website?” Well Mr Butcher, if you’d like to grow your business beyond your weekly takings then you better shift your focus. Gone are the days when the loyal local following kept businesses afloat. With competition from the big supermarkets, businesses like the local butchers and the bakers have suffered. Cutting prices is no longer an option but getting more out of your existing customer base is the way forward.
What Is The Way Forward?
Recognising the opportunity to increase the amount your existing customer is spending with you is paramount. This requires an adoption of new ways of thinking. For the local butcher it could be something as simple as collecting customer email addresses and then sending out regular emails of offers and specials (there’s email marketing for you). Having a website allows you to communicate to an audience wider than the “locals” who come in every week for their weekly shop.
Won’t It Cost Too Much?
I am not sure where the impression that websites cost too much. If you have been sucked into signing up for a website and PPC deal with the famous yellow book people then maybe that would put you off. I will leave that discussion for another day. For as little as £99 you can have a professionally designed website up and running, in no time at all. As long as you fully understand that having a website is an active process, you can’t just get the plaque and let it sit on the mantelpiece. You must be prepared to start writing about what you do, why your customers trust you and what value you bring to your customers. Be free to tell your story because no one can tell it better than you do.
I hope this short article has shed some light on the possibilities internet marketing holds, even for the small local business. Are you a small business owner and not really sure how to grow your business by leveraging the internet? Let me help you. As the year comes to a close you have a pretty good understanding how your business has performed. You also have a pretty good idea of the numbers you want for 2015. How about you and I sit down and have a chat about how you can implement internet marketing strategy to give you that extra push? Ok, let’s do it. Whether you are a plumbing company or a specialty butcher, let’s talk and see where we can take your business in 2016.
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