4 Ways small businesses can grow online

Your company’s online presence is your billboard to the world. You may think that having an engaging website or a robust social media voice isn’t within your reach, but it might be time to think again. With a little creative thinking about budget, resources, and outcomes, you can have a competitive online presence that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.

Small business owners are used to getting results by thinking outside the box. Here are a few ideas to help you get your web-based projects off the drawing table and into the Internet.


A Dynamic Website

Ninety-seven percent of people go online before making the choice to visit a local business. That means if you’re not online, for the majority of customers, you do not exist. Make that number work for you by putting some thought into your website. Consider hiring a web developer to set up the foundation and design the look, feel, and usability of your website. Look for a web development agency like Growth Citadel who can create an appealing, engaging, and responsive site so you can connect with your customers and gain an advantage over your competitors.


Video Storytelling

Building customer trust and loyalty are about telling good stories, which is why video is a good addition to your website. If you don’t have access to filming and editing equipment, nor have the cash to hire a professional, check out online video makers like Promo or WeVideo. For as little as $10 a video, you can make your own videos with clips, music, text, and logos using drag-and-drop templates. Be sure to have transcripts made of these videos to ensure your site is accessible to everyone. Adding captions not only expands your audience, but it also keeps people watching the video longer. Look into transcription services with quick turnaround time, a satisfaction guarantee, and who are FCC and ADA compliant.


Online Payment Processing

Assure that your customers can make payments easily by setting up easy online payment processing. Give your clients the option to pay with a variety of one-click payment solutions like Google Pay, Apple Wallet, PayPal, Venmo, and Amazon Pay. Making it easier for them to complete a transaction means making more money. Look for payment processing systems that have the ability to set up automatic invoicing and payment reminders, edit and send invoices from your smartphone or tablet, and process multiple types of currency.


Online Reputation Monitoring

Your web presence is about who you are online as much as it is about where you are online. Check out web-based software that allows you to monitor the social sphere for comments and posts about the company, brand, product or service. When any one of the 97 percent look online to learn more about you, you want to know what they are seeing. Protect your online reputation with apps like Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Also, be sure to set up a few Google alerts with your name, your company name, and other keywords specific to you and your business. Google alerts are free and customizable — all you need is a Gmail account.

Small businesses make up more than 90 percent of all the businesses in the United States. However, in the first year, their doors are open nearly 20 percent will fail. In five years that number increases to 50. That’s because there are a lot of hurdles to contend with when you start a small business — and how to deal with competition is one of the biggest.

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