Establishing Your Digital Presence for Small Businesses

A recent 2013 survey conducted by Google and research company Ipsos shockingly revealed that out of 3,800+ small business owners, a majority of the respondents answered that they did not operate a company website.  Reasons ranged from not having enough time to the fear of implementation costs:  hardly acceptable excuses, as a properly executed website will improve efficiency (easier information access for the customers) and increase revenues to cover the costs.  Moreover, the price tag of building a decent website has dramatically decreased in the last decade.  In fact, creating a company page on a Social Network platform as Facebook is essentially free of charge.  Hence, a virtual estate on the Internet has become a true commodity. 

When the World Wide Web was standardized with the HTML 4 code language in 1997, there were no smart phones, tablets, or high speed wireless networks. Naturally, consumers had to rely on pre-existing knowledge, word-of-mouth, traditional advertisements, salesmen, and other channels to help make purchases.  Much has changed since then, and most recently on October 28, 2014, the HTML 5 coding scheme was published and finalized.  Even for small business owners who are far from tech savviness, they should recognize that this was a very important mark of contemporary history.  One of the key changes to the HTML 5 code is its great flexibility and coherency for a website to be compatibly displayed in any device.  This standardization of coding (HTML 5) is a clear reflection of how people’s behavioral patterns have changed in the 21st century- we want the Internet wherever, whenever, and whatever instrument we use.

Undoubtedly, today’s consumers, business partners, and potential employees are constantly searching for information regarding your company online.  If you don’t have a website and a SNS page, plan and create them now.  If you have a website that is not HTML 5 coded, revamp and create an updated one now.   By allowing important stakeholders to easily access company information in all devices, small business owners can coherently extend their customer reach, effectively reduce unnecessary costs, and establish a uniform brand image.  How difficult is it to accomplish this feat?

Websites such as Wix.com, Weebly.com, Google, and other website creating platforms require no technical skills or significant fees to publish a HTML 5 website.  Within a matter of hours one can set up a website ready to go.  Phones and tablets are equipped with high definition camera lenses to take sufficient photos and videos for frequent uploading.  It is now more a matter of volition than expertise when it comes to web presence. Your return on effort to create a good website / brand page will not be disappointing.

By: Charles Barr
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