How small businesses can reach their online potential - 09/11/12

One of the most satisfying aspects of our work is seeing how the fortunes of a business can be transformed by a smart digital makeover.

In many industries, business owners seem content - complacent, even - that word-of-mouth and traditional print advertising will continue to drive inbound sales. Look at the bigger picture though, and the extent of the digital revolution becomes clear. Computer literacy is up; technology is more affordable than ever before, whilst smartphones and tablets allow millions to browse the internet on the move. The world has changed, and so have people’s expectations as to how businesses ought to connect with customers.
Just ask yourself - if you’re looking for a gardener, taxi firm or a pest control specialist, are you really going to sift through a massive telephone directory? If so, you’re part of a shrinking minority!
According to Basekit’s Digital Dinosaurs study published earlier this year, 74% of small business respondents said their online presence helps generate leads and enhances their reputation. Elsewhere, a recent piece in the Guardian highlighted the “ever-increasing importance of an online presence for businesses of all sizes and descriptions”. In 2012, it’s vital to have a professional port of call that allows customers to learn about your business at the click of a button.
In addition, a new website can simplify a business and allow you to reduce or eliminate your traditional promotional expenditure. At Step Internet, our competitive pricing (currently £39.50 p/month including the design, content and hosting) enables clients to make a return on their investment after just a couple of inbound sales. You might think you’re saving money by staying offline, but it’s very much a false economy. 
A website not only makes sense financially - it enhances your business’s professional aura and reputation. A well-managed website with a clear contact form and smart visuals will cast your organisation in the best possible light. Perception is reality, as they say. 
At Step Internet, we aim to provide a hassle-free service whereby clients aren’t required to spend all day thinking about the nuts and bolts of their website. After all, you have much more important things to do! Given that 60% of small businesses in the UK have no digital presence, now could be the perfect time to get ahead of the game. With an effective business website, there’s every chance that you can attract tomorrow’s customers today.