Business, Life and Business Life. Real Talk.

5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Be An Internet Business

In my last post I made the claim that every business should be an internet business. In the past the world tended to group internet businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses into separate categories. How many times have you heard “he got rich from an internet start-up”?

Well those days are over. Businesses can not be separated into these two categories any more because the internet is such a huge part of everything that we do.

Today there are the strictly internet businesses that don’t have a physical presence, and then there are the brick-and-mortar businesses that have a physical presence but also must have an internet presence.

Increase Business ExposureBe Findable

People search Google locally to find what they need on a daily basis. You need to be there! Yes, someone may just stop in to your store or restaurant to check it out, but most people don’t do that.

People get into routines. They drive the same streets every day. They have their favorite restaurants they revisit. They need to be able to find you online. You need to give them a reason to break out of their routine.

Plus, having an internet presence increases the range of your visibility. Someone 2 towns over may never see you just driving by solely for the reason that they never drive by. But they may be able to find you just browsing the internet.

Technology is such a huge part of our life that it basically tells us where to go. How often do you look to Google to find out where you can buy a certain item? My bet is pretty often. So I repeat myself: You need to be there!

Plus gas is too expensive now for you to be driving around looking for a store :)

Credibility

A business has far more credibility if they have a website; especially a well designed website. In the past, a business with no physical address or phone number seemed a little shady. Having a website has now become a standard as well.

And what looks more legit on a business card: “contact@MyBusiness.com” or “MyBusiness@gmail.com”. What seems more trustworthy?

Social BuzzSocial Buzz

There is no better marketing than word-of-mouth and friends telling friends about your product or service. The great thing about today’s business environment is that it is far easier than it has ever been to create a social buzz around your brand.

This can be especially effective before your business even opens its doors. Create a pre-launch buzz around your new products and/or services and your location. Get people talking right off the bat so that you have interested customers from day one.

You can actually be one of those friends that are spreading the word through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You may already have hundreds of friends on Facebook. Not utilizing that for some word-of-mouth marketing is a sin.

Customer Interaction

Having a good product is obviously a necessity. But there are plenty of good products out there. What can set you apart is the way you interact with your customers. Utilizing email lists allows you to interact “personally” with your customers.

What’s more effective: an ad in the local newspaper or a personalized email directly to the customers inbox? The big corporations are using email lists for a reason. They are more effective. And not only more effective, but also cheaper (go figure!). The great news is that you don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar corporation to use the same method.

Let your customers know of any news about your business. What new deals do you have? Let them be a part of your world. Personal connections can go a LONG way.

Availability

Brick-and-mortar businesses do not stay open 24/7/365 (in most cases). But the internet is always there. Your business is always open when you have a website. It is there to greet people even when you are sleeping.

You can be collecting information about your customers while you sleep. Use surveys to find out what your customers actually desire; or ask them how happy they are with your service. Offer them value so they keep coming back.

Keep Customers HappyAn internet presence also makes you more available in terms of ease of contact. It is usually easier to remember a website than a phone number. If existing, or potential, customers have questions it is far easier to contact you through your website (or even a Google Local business listing) than to go searching in the yellow pages.

Your business, as an internet entity, can be working for you even while you’re not working.

Do you use the internet to improve your brick-and-mortar business?

Did I miss any other benefits of utilizing the internet to improve your brick-and mortar business? (I’m sure I did :))

 

24 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Be An Internet Business

  1. There used to be a time when if you had a great product or service to offer, you could only do it locally.

    We definitely do not live in those times anymore! Today you can set up a store front and not have to worry about hiring employees, paying expensive building rents, storing inventory, getting any required building permits and having to be working behind a counter.

    Today, you can set up an Internet Business and be relaxing on the beach while working or be traveling across the world as you run your business. By having an Internet Business you can truly have a business that works for you 24×7. The best thing is that once you produce a product to sell on the web, you can make money from it for as long as you’d like.

    Why would any entrepreneur not leverage the internet as a resource to build a business?

    Awesome post Eugene!

    • Eugene says:

      You’re right Hector. In the past businesses would open their doors and then somewhere down the line invest in a website as a means of marketing. I think in today’s day and age it almost makes more sense to the take the opposite approach. The barriers to entry for an internet business are much lower. Start an online store and transition into brick-and-mortar if it is a success.

      Of course internet businesses do still have their own challenges. And the brick-and-mortar way does still have its advantages. Maybe a combination of the two methods could work to optimize a new business launch. For instance, start an internet store and get listed on Google Local as a brick-and-mortar business would. Could have some interesting results…

  2. I think you have good points. If you want to be competitive these days, you HAVE TO be on the Internet, it seems. Thanks. :)

  3. Hmmm… brick and mortar. Not exactly my business… and then it is. We have 29 apartment units and the internet is THE way to reach prospective tenants. First. Inexpensively. And immediately. They search, we text or phone back, and they’re looking at a unit before you know it.

    I’m also able to write exactly what I want to present – at first glance – to anyone looking for rentals. Can’t do that in the yellow pages :) (Who’d want to?) And pictures speak a thousand words. Can’t do that (inexpensively) in a newspaper ad. So, not only do we have our own website to handle this, we make sure we are current on every internet marketing tool available to us. And most are free. Oh happy day. :)

    Couldn’t agree more. A brick and mortar business must have an internet presence!

    ~Theresa

    btw – I have a rockin’ property management company that handles all of this for us. Team. The only way to go.

    • Eugene says:

      Well I think you just gave a shining real life example of why it’s important to have to have an online presence. Just makes your life SO much easier (and cheaper :) )

  4. Dino Dogan says:

    I have a challenge for you.

    I want you to write a post called 5 Reasons Why Every Business Shouldn’t Be An Internet Business

    The gauntlet is down….pick it up if you dare :-)

  5. I get told all the time that if they have a website up that it’s good enough, I really don’t think that’s good enough either. You have to establish credibility (like you said above) or you are dead in the water.

    • Eugene says:

      It’s funny that you say that. I just had that exact thought yesterday. Just throwing up a site gets you nowhere. That used to be true back when the internet first came onto the scene. It seemed as though you just throw up a site, any site, and it worked! Not the case any more. Just putting up a site and never doing anything to promote yourself and establish authority is just a waste of time and resources. The follow-through is what really counts today.

  6. It is impossible to imagine the modern life without the Internet. Also, it is impossible to imagine the modern business without a website. The main reason for which an entrepreneur has to have a website is that it will definitely bring additional potential customers to your business. Even if you do no promotion you will have some traffic with tinme. The requirements of a website are minimal. All that you have to pay for – domain and hosting. It goes without saying that website is a cost-effective solution for any business.

    • Eugene says:

      That is true. There is probably no more cost effective way of getting your business name out there than a website. Although Facebook and Twitter are free :)

  7. Great point, Eugene. Everything is becoming viral and even buying groceries online is the new trend! From Yelp to Craigslist and banking, everything I do is in the comfort of my house. On my sofa, with my dog. Oh yeah, and every now and then a random kid runs around the house screaming “mommy”.

    • Eugene says:

      Haha, I hope I never get to the point where I decide to buy groceries online. I actually enjoy going to the grocery store. But you do make a valid point, it is getting to those kind of extremes.

  8. van025 says:

    Great post.
    Yes I use the internet to improve my brick-and-mortar business
    Internet is now very popular and Internet business is the best choice for us to public our company.Not only people in our country but also all people around the world can know our own business when they online.
    It’s so available.

    • Eugene says:

      The internet has made world-wide exposure so much more attainable. And cheap! Why pay for local print ads when you can go global for a fraction of the price?

  9. What is more convenient than relaxing on the beach and spending time with your own family while making money through your internet business? Yes I agree to you Eugene. It is a MUST for every business to be an internet business. A great percentage of people are found online so just think of the wide audience you can be reached than just sticking on your own street address and waiting for people to come in to your store. I like this post Eugene and surely I will share this to my friends who are not yet in the internet world :)

  10. I work full time and have a website for which i work for two hours at home.. This two hours of online work earns me atleast much that i can spend it on myself.. Now a days internet business has become so popular, as half of the population is accessible to internet and earning money has become easy.

  11. Whenever I go to unfamiliar places, I always find myself googling for the best restaurants and shops around, and I guess, everyone is. If the business is not in the internet, they’re missing a lot of potential customers. Customer interaction is a good point. In a time when internet is a necessity, being able to communicate and interact with customers and potential customers is essential for any business to succeed. Especially those who are just starting. I t definitely adds customer value.

    • Eugene says:

      I think companies should at least add themselves to Google local as a business even if creating a full out site isn’t right for them.