Why every small business (yes, yours too) should have a digital presence
One day last week, as we were walking back from a team lunch, Tori Mikhnovsky, founder of D1Zi, drew my attention to a row of storefront windows. We had been discussing why every small business NEEDS a digital presence in today’s age if they hope to survive and thrive. Digital Marketing is an essential cornerstone of any small business
Ms. Mikhnovsky, who worked for some of the world’s largest technology firms before launching D1Zi, is an ardent supporter of small and local businesses, and firmly believes in D1Zi’s mission to ‘bring Big Tech solutions to benefit Small (and mid-sized) Businesses.’
And that row of storefront windows became the exclamation point in the impromptu lesson that she taught us all as we enjoyed our ice cream on a bench across the street before heading back to the office. The lesson started when I teasingly asked Tori to give me ‘three good reasons’ why every small, little store or business would need a website or digital presence. Here’s what I learned:
Word Of Mouse
Every business — large or small — depends upon its reputation to sustain operations. How our customers, our employees, our vendors and, yes, even our bankers view our operations will have an oversized impact on current and future success (or failure). In years past, that reputation was generally built one-to-one, with a strong dose of word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials underpinning your reputation. Today, one disgruntled customer holds the potential to damage your reputation — and if you aren’t online, you aren’t able to defend yourself.
Bankers will want to check out your website before they decide whether to extend a financing offer. Potential employees will want to get a glimpse of who you are as a business and how they might be able to add value. And, of course, today’s consumers do their homework online before buying any product or service, and if your business has no digital presence, you are effectively invisible to a world of new customers.
In a digital era, you need to rely on word-of-mouse to support your business today — and to sustain you into the future.
Key to Digital Marketing: Keep it simple
Creating a simple and sustained engagement flow with your audience is a key element of your brand’s growth trajectory
As a former Professor of Marketing, I’ve taught ‘the sales process’ and usually refer to it by its acronym A.I.D.A: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. A simple yet effective digital presence — website, basic social media interactions, etc. — can play a key and important role at each step of the sales process, reducing your own cost-of-sales (self-help tools) and increasing overall profitability/sale.
The simple addition of a BOOK AN APPOINTMENT calendar functionality to your website will allow your customers to schedule their own visits at their own convenience, helping your to fill your appointment books without lifting a finger! And the right approach to prospect pre-qualification questionnaires embedded within your CONTACT US page can significantly speed the time it takes to go from INTERESTED to COMMITTED.
Room For Growth
D1Zi Digital Agency – 3 Keys to Growing your Digital Presence. Key 3 – Make room to grow
Encourage the pursuit of innovative ideas within your organisation and develop accordingly with the momentum fresh creativity brings !
Inside the ‘heart’ of every small (and midsized) business are dreams of growth. In most cases, these dreams of growth are usually manageable and realistic, but they represent growth nonetheless. This growth can take the form of adding a couple of extra tables to your small bistro due to expanding demand. Or it could take the form of adding a new market (wholesale, for example) to your existing retail business model when you start getting orders from other, out-of-area retailers who recognize the quality of your work.
A dynamic digital presence as empowered by D1Zi will provide you with the tools to envision where you want to go AND the tools to growth, too. If your store currently captures a fair share of the walk-by traffic passing in front of your door — a number perhaps measured in thousands — imagine the growth potential in capturing the same share of a much larger demographic footprint, the so-called surf-by traffic, an audience measured in the hundreds of thousands. Digital Marketing presents a very realistic conduit for growth.
And about those storefronts….
As I stated off the top, the exclamation point in the lesson came when Tori drew our attention to a row of three storefronts that were across the street from the bench upon which we were gathered, enjoying our ice cream on a sultry summer afternoon.
“Do you see that? Two FOR LEASE signs with a small, kid-friendly hairdressing shop in between? What do you notice?” said Tori, looking up from her Pralines and Cream.
The rest of us ran off a laundry list of the totally obvious. Then Tori waded in again.
“The two FOR LEASE windows still have the former store information on them. Typical old-school style: open/close sign, ‘goodbye notes’, and a telephone number. The hairdresser has her business’ URL front-and-centre. Now, we can’t know for sure that a digital brand presence made THE difference between success-and-failure for those other now-closed shops, but we do know that every small business dreams of success, not failure. And the only successful business on the block has invested the time and energy — and a small budget — to use the power of Big Technology to help them survive and to thrive.”
It was a good lesson for all of us to learn. Well, actually three good reasons and an extra special reminder.
NB: D1Zi Digital Agency in Kitchener has an open door policy towards the support of small (and mid-sized) local business. Come by for insights on how to grow your business digitally and increase your company revenue !