web presence
Embracing the web
Small Business Owners – here are what you’ve missed by not having any web presence for your business: opportunity and competitive advantage. Learn why you MUST go online for the sake of your business.

Placing web presence on highest priority in your business plan is no longer a smart move. It’s a mandatory move.

No matter what you’ve planned for your small business: search engine marketing, social media marketing, or simply setting up your first business website – a step further in building a web presence for your business is a big leap forward.

Again, I insist: You MUST have a business website… a business blog… whatever. If you are not interested in anything related to site or blog, you must make social media profile and grow your community NOW. Sign up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social network you can think of.

Why?

Because you will LOSE in today’s fierce business competition, IF you don’t start building your business online credibility.

Some examples to make my point

In the US, there is a web developer – Small Farm Central – focusing its service to help farms establishing web presence by setting up websites to promote and sell the farms’ produces.

Again, in the US, there is an online platform, Rentcycle, in which member rental companies can have a branded online storefront, along with reservation systems, inventory management and analytical tools – all in all, to aid rental companies set their foot on the web.

Back to my home country – In Indonesia, there is an Ojek Driver (ojek is a motorcycle or bicycle used for public transport) who use Facebook to promote his service and take clients “order.”

…and so on.

If those farm owners and ojek drivers are eager to go online, why don’t you?

In fact, I doubt your entrepreneurial spirit if you hesitate NOT to go online – farms owners are stereotypically conservative. If they are eager to adapt online strategies, what reasons do you have NOT to establish a web presence?

Don’t have the budget (a.k.a. cash)? Don’t have the time? Ridiculous.

You can set a LinkedIn account to build your online credibility for free (Twitter, Facebook, etc. are also free.) In site building – sure, building a website could cost you some time, but there are many push-button web building tools that can get your brand name on the Net within 5 minutes. Blogger.com, WordPress.com and such for blog sites; CafePress.com for online store; Weebly.com for click-and-drag web and blog site-making; and many more. And most of them are free.

Without web presence, you and your business are becoming… obsolete

You can argue that your business is doing fine without any online presences. But the real question is, for how long? Establishing a web presence is not a short term business strategy – it’s not set-and-forget strategy; Web presence should be nurtured in such a way that people in Almaty, Kazakhstan can find out about your business and learn that you are selling home-based surf wallets in Miami, Florida, US. And who knows? An entrepreneur from Almaty is eager to set up a US specialty store chain with your Miami surf wallets as featured products.

More likely than not, your no-web-presence business will slowly drift away from where the crowd is, and you might start to blame the economy for not getting better in years, causing all of your misery today.

You don’t want to be one of those people who have passed the opportunities to better their business, looking back and start blaming life for being unfair.

Ivan Widjaya
Web presence evangelist
Image by svilen001.