This holds true even if your target audience is the older segment of our population. As far back as 2005, a column in Entrepreneur ended with a story in which the author asked a group of people, mostly 55 and over, how many of them had used the Internet to research a product in the previous week. The answer was about 95 percent.
What does this mean for the small local business? It means your potential customers expect to find you online, and if they can’t, then you don’t exist for them.
Advantages to Having an Internet Presence
- Customers can find you: You need to be where your customers are, and the evidence shows that your customers are online.
- Customers can learn more about you, 24/7: Today’s busy consumers aren’t necessarily researching you during your business hours. Even when they are, they may not want to talk to you. You need, at the very least, a Web site where potential customers can learn more about you and how you can help them.
- You can lower your advertising costs: If your customers are online, why are you buying expensive print ads? People pay attention to ads only when they are looking for what the ad is selling, but print ads run on a schedule. A Web site and online ads are inexpensive and available for consumers to find when they are ready to pay attention.
No matter how small or how local your business, if you don’t have an Internet presence, you need to begin building one today.