Expanding Into the 21st Century

Business is tough – there are no two ways about it. In today’s competitive economy, keeping up with the competition will keep your business running, but to grow, you need to be one step ahead. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re at the top of any customer’s list.

Location, location, location

Very few customers are willing to GPS their way down several back alleys to find the company they’re looking for. They won’t feel like you’re the best people for the job if you’re not in the best location. Prime real estate is expensive, but getting premises in the right area – close to your target market – will make it worth it. Don’t make your customers go out of their way to bring you business.

Online Presence

97% of consumers start their search for a product or service online. If they’re looking for something specific, they’re far more likely to Google what they’re looking for than trawl the streets hoping to come across the right supplier.

What your business does will likely determine the type of online presence you need. For some companies, a basic site with basic info and contact information will suffice, but if you plan to buy and sell, have a software development company set up a merchant facility on your website.

If you want to move into social media marketing or run promotions, a Facebook page is a great way to have people share your company’s promos, competitions, and events.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly, smartphone use for browsing, as opposed to just instant messaging and Facebook, is more and more common, especially for people who are always on the go.

SEO

It’s all well and good having a website, but it won’t be worth your while if it doesn’t get any traffic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you move up in Google’s (or any other search engine) organic rankings, so that you’re in the first few pages, not the last few, without paying to be there. Most consumers don’t scroll past the first few results to find what they’re looking for, so that’s where you want to be.

Marketing

Market and advertise like it’s going out of fashion, but aim for quality over quantity. There are literally hundreds of marketing techniques and yes – some of them could well be equated to pouring money into a black hole, but if you can nail down the best marketing strategies for your business,  you won’t waste a dime.

Most people spend hours a day online, whether they’re working, socializing or just browsing out of boredom, so online marketing is probably your most important resource. It’s all about knowing your target market though. Where will they see or hear your ad, and actually notice it?

A big part of running a business is research. Your consumer base, economics, and competing businesses fluctuate almost constantly. Make sure you keep yourself up to date so you can stay ahead of the game.

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