Top 4 Best Ways to Take Your Offline Business Online

It’s almost certain that your business would benefit from an online presence - even if only a basic website - but for some businesses, it’s vital they’re online. Whether you fall into the former or latter camp, moving your business online should be done in an ordered fashion to derive the best benefit.

Top 4 Best Ways to Take Your Offline Business Online

What Does ‘Getting Online’ Mean To You?

How comprehensive your online transition is will depend on the type of business you have and thus the sort of online presence it requires.

It’s not just moving online to promote yourself: ‘Getting Online’ could mean being able to take advantage of facilities such as video marketing, running online software such as accounting packages that can print off secure tamper proof voucher checks and maybe take online payments through platforms such as PayPal.

Deciding Why You Need To Be Online

Are you looking to actively reach more customers further afield? Do you want to have a full eCommerce set up such as an online store? Are you looking to keep your offline presence such as a shop or premises and add an online presence - or transition from one to the other?

Having established what you hope to achieve online, you’ll then need to decide on the form this will take. If you offer, say, business consulting services then a website explaining what you do will possibly be enough.

If you wish to open an online store then you’ll need a good eCommerce platform linked to payment processing and facilities to collect customer data.

Clearly, you’ll need help (unless you’re a web designer yourself) but prepackaged platforms such as Shopify can provide an almost ‘out of the box’ online store if having a web designer create yours from scratch seems too expensive.

Top Four Best Ways to Take Your Offline Business Online

1. Using Professional Help

You could ask an expert such as a digital marketing agency to help advice on how to market yourself online and create an online presence for you. It could prove money well spent, especially if your online presence is going to be pivotal to your business growth.

Be careful of falling into the trap of trying to do things ‘on the cheap’. While moving online can be relatively inexpensive compared to renting premises and hiring people, there’s still a price tag of some type unless you’re setting up a basic website.

2. Using Social Media

You may have assumed you’ll need to use social media, but maybe the idea sounds a bit daunting what with all the different platforms available.

The key is not to try to do them all at once; far better to choose one or two of the most useful to your business type and focus on developing a strong presence and getting comfortable with them before moving on to others.

The key to social media is to be consistent; it won’t help to put up a business page on Facebook and then forget about it. Updated content is important - as is an understanding of what social media can and can’t do for you. Its function is primarily to build engagement with your brand and business as opposed to ‘hard selling’.

That said, you may decide to use it for advertising - such as paid for Facebook ads - if this is appropriate for your type of business.

3. Blogging And Other Content

Having a blog on your website certainly offers some advantages.

Websites benefit from new content to keep people coming back, and to appeal to Google and other search engines for ranking purposes, so a blog is a good way of effectively adding fresh content to your website regularly.

Of course, there’s a time investment associated with blogging. However, since you’re writing about topics related to your business at least you’ll be familiar with what you’re talking about. Alternatively, you can have your digital agency provide content for your blog.

Other content such as video or a podcast may be worth considering but, as with social media, maybe don’t try to do everything to start with. You may find you don’t need all three in any event.

As with social media content, be consistent with your blog or other content. Above all, don’t let it lapse or tail off significantly.

4. A Methodical Approach

Planning ahead - and determining what you hope to achieve with an online presence - will help you find the right solution.

Don’t be afraid to seek expert help; many digital agencies and web designers are used to working with clients of differing needs and budgets, so will help you focus on the web presence that’s best for your business.

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TechGlobeX: Top 4 Best Ways to Take Your Offline Business Online
Top 4 Best Ways to Take Your Offline Business Online
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