No matter what type of business you have, the online world plays an important role in your business success. Now, as a rural business you may wonder why you even need to embrace the online world. If you get the majority of your business locally, or already have a list of your preferred traders, it’s understandable that you’d be questioning this. But as a rural business it is essential that you do have an online presence too – here’s why.
The business landscape is changing.
Everyone has a smartphone, it’s the top way of getting online. The world today is geared for fast, instant, easy connection and smartphones have given us that. As long as you have a standard broadband connection, you can get online with the touch of a few buttons.
Regardless of the type of business you own or the type of person you are, there’s also a good chance that you have either a laptop or a PC and use it for your operational and management processes. We’ve all adjusted to hopping online and checking our emails and bank accounts, our social media profiles and even searching the latest news and forecasts.
You’re online, and so are your customers. You need to be embracing the changes and using them to make your business more efficient and approachable.
An online presence is crucial
Having an online presence doesn’t automatically mean you need to be selling online. But it does mean that you need to at least have a basic presence, such as a website and/or social media accounts.
In fact, according to Rural England’s report ‘Unlocking the digital potential of rural areas across the UK’, 81% of rural businesses do have their own website. Of those, 22% of rural businesses surveyed, will also sell via third party websites (such as Ebay, Etsy, Airbnb) – and this is a figure that is only going to keep on growing.
Your customers and suppliers are going online to search for solutions. And if you’re not on there – you’re not going to come across their radar – and this is why you need to be embracing the online world.
Websites are being used to establish how reputable a business is
Most businesses are expected to have a website. It’s where we expect to find information about the company, how they can help us, and an easy way to contact them. Search a little more and if we’re looking for a reputable company, we’d expect reviews and feedback to show up on the different social media platforms, as well as the search engines.
If you want to access the global market and find better networking opportunities for your business (local and global), the online space is where you’d expect them to be. Your online profiles give suppliers and customers an opportunity to scope you out, get instant responses to their questions, and to work on building better relationships with businesses they’re interested in.
It isn’t something you have to do yourself
There’s a good chance that you want to grow your business, as it’s what we all want! But to do that, you do need to embrace the online world. No matter what type of business you have, you need at least a basic online presence. But it isn’t something you have to set up or manage yourself.
If you don’t relish the opportunities the online world offers you, look to outsource its creation and management to a Virtual Assistant. Not only can they set up the different profiles for you, they can also maintain and manage them for you, so you can be pretty much hands-off. And if you’re a rural business owner who is struggling to understand why you need to be online – that can be the perfect solution for your business!
Are you ready to embrace the online world, but need a little help? Whether it’s the set up and getting started or the maintenance of your online presence, why not get in touch? Let’s talk and see how Strawberry Office can help take some tasks of your place and help you embrace the online world, in a way that suits you!