For some of us the Xmas and New Year is our quiet period when one can take time to be with our respective families and take a well earn rest. For others, it’s their peak time of the year and they would be working long hours and looking forward to a well earn rest.
One thing for sure, the start of year is a good time for most of us to reflect on things such as your achievements in the past year, missed opportunities, how well are you tracking on your goals and to review those goals.
Over the years I found that most small business owners do this for most parts of their business but they forget to review their website or online presence to see how well it has performed. The only exception to this rule are those people whose business relies on the internet such as online shops and membership sites.
But why do this? my business does not rely on online traffic!
That may be the case but you don’t know how many missed opportunities you may had or what people are checking out about you? or what people are thinking about you and your services? We are now talking about your online presence and reputation here whether you built one or not.
The way people now go about buying goods and services is changing quite significantly and as a small business owner you need to be on top. I look at my kids, I watch them search for the things they want to buy whether be goods or services and they’ve shown me that I need to think differently. Offline businesses now need to think about their internet presence regardless of what type of business they are and whether they built one or not.
Small business owners now need to consider things that previously was not in their control and take a pro-active role on their online presence, whether be their website, social media channels or any directory services they may use. Shoppers are more savvy now and are not shy about letting you know what they think about your products and/or service in online forums such as Facebook, community forums or review sites.
Whilst I am using my kids who are early 20’s as examples in this article they are not alone and I can assure that this is reflected with some of my clients and their customers.
Here are some insights from my kids
- If there is an issue or question my kids are reluctant to pick up the phone and they hate email – that say email is “for old people“. The prefer to use messenger or something similar to talk to a customer service person in order to get issues resolved. For them it is quicker, much more convenient and informal, so you need to think about whether your clients would want to contact you via alternative forms of communication that is more inline with them such as online chat, Messenger or other similar tools.
- Are you legit? if they have not heard or they don’t know much about you then they will check you out. I’ve seen my eldest go through great lengths to check people reviews in order to see if you are legit or not. Strongly suggest that you search on yourself to see what sort of reputation or unknown content there is about you. Remember – that in doubt people will not buy even when there is nothing about you.
- Most of us are happy to use tools such as Google Business and Facebook pages but are you monitoring these pages? do you know what people are saying? are you responding to their comment? This is an extension of your business and service – be pro-active here.
- Influencers! whether you like them or not they are out there and they are active. One of the things that influencers do well is they review products, they talk about the good and the bad whether it is fair or not. While I am not recommending you use influencers you need to be aware of them and find out if they are talking about your products and/or services.
Some useful tips
To try to monitor all the digital channels about what people are saying about you can be exhausting and challenging. A simple way to help you monitor is to setup a Google Alert which can be sent to your email box daily. You can set it up so any new content that Google finds with the phrase you have configured it will then notify you eg in my case I have an alert on my name and business name.
Be proactive – don’t let potential customer leave your site to try to find out if you are legit or not, be proactive and give them the information your potential customer needs to make a decision. An excellent example is Appliances Online an online retailer that I just discovered. What I really like about their approach is they provide some much information that there is no reason to leave their site. Their shop uses videos for product demo and reviews, extensive product description with key features highlighted and lots of reviews. Not only they have extensive product reviews but they also include reviews about themselves and what the customers thought about their service.
Tip – don’t give them a reason to leave your site
If you are not sure how to go about this then just call out for help – it better to get some one to help you work through the process rather than keep missing out on leads.