Someone once said that if your business is not on the internet, you don’t have a business. In 2016, there are over 86.2 million active internet users in Nigeria (Source). You are missing out on a whopping 86 million-strong customer base if your business is not on the internet. Times have changed. Initially, market was where buyers and sellers met to conduct a transaction. That definition has long being defiled because transactions can now take place without buyer meeting seller thanks to the use of the internet.
When people hear establishing an online presence for their business, the first thing they imagine is having a website – which is strongly recommended, by the way – and the cost implications. While the cost of having a website is a justifiable investment, it costs you absolutely nothing to create a fan page for your business on Facebook, twitter or google+.
Here are some of the good reasons why you should consider making your business more internet-visible:
1. A wider and larger market scope
Displaying what you do on the internet increases your market scope. This is unlike the traditional market where your goods, wares and services are visited only by the number of people that come to the market (a geographical location). With the help of the internet however, your goods and services are on display to almost everyone on the planet earth as long as they are internet enabled thereby increasing your customer base. It provides more visibility for your goods and services especially when you are in the same geographic location as the intending buyer. For instance, if I want to buy a commodity, a search on the internet is all I need. Good for me if the shop I need to buy from is next door which I might not be aware of before now. In the long run, placing your business on the internet will increase sales and profit margin.
2. It helps prevent wastage:
In an industry where customer specifications are considered before production as in the case of shoe making business, the social media for instance creates an avenue for the customers to make a request and then the producer makes according to the taste of the customer. With the shoe tailored to meet the customer’s needs, there won’t be wastage as against if the shoe maker makes different sizes and colors without any customer in mind. This alone prevents wastage of raw materials and time.
Same goes for the production of birthday and wedding cake; an entrepreneur has the opportunity of making any of the above mentioned cakes with the customer in mind. This also helps to cut wastage by not producing what won’t be needed rather what would be required.
As an entrepreneur however, you should always have your raw materials at hand and be ready for production at any time. Many of us have purchased birthday cakes from fast food joints like Mr. Biggs where you only have to wait for some minutes while your writings are inscribed on the cake. A customer is also opportune to have wide range to select from thereby making a more accurate purchase.
3. The social media helps to advertise at little or no cost
With various social media platforms, advertisement of goods and services are at little or no added cost. Large companies usually spend a fortune to publicize their products but in this new era, the social media has placed both giant companies and new business ventures on the same pedestal and level of exposure via the internet. The social media now seems to be the best platform for marketing your business in the 21st century.
Deploying the social media as a marketing tool helps you track your results as well; in terms of web traffic and sales volume and most definitely the usefulness of social media as an advert tool.
4. Augments brand recognition and brand image
As a higher proportion of the younger generation is more frequent online, word of mouth referrals and brand loyalty is easily promoted. For instance, almost everyone has at one time or the other shopped through Konga or Jumia even though 90% of the customers do not know where there physical outlets or office is situated. These two major online shopping hubs have become a household name and have also increasingly become relevant because of the internet.
5. Customer satisfaction is more guaranteed
For instance, an online poll is conducted before venturing into a new line of business. With the response of intending customers, the new product or service is built according to the taste and desire of the already waiting buyer thereby reducing loss and risk of speculation of acceptance of the new product.
While conducting the customer poll, you are indirectly creating awareness for the new product or service.
Customer feedback and response is also more on time than the physical customer care representative because with the social media there are no closing hours, weekends or public holiday breaks. There is easy access to the business owner if the business is on the internet, hence complaints are easily lodged and proper measures are taken with immediate effect.
Why not give your business the needed push by being visible on the internet. Feel free to get back to this blog and learn the best ways to put your business online where time never stops.
Here is to your business success! Cheers.