Our goal is to ensure that your company is properly represented online and more!
Having a website for your business is essential in today’s world.
The top reasons why your business should have a website are:
<ul><li><b>Credibility</b> - A website allows you to establish trust and credibility with your customers. It proves to them that you are a real business. Having a website is a great opportunity to make a good first impression and it allows customers to learn more about your business’ products or services.</li><li><b>Brand</b> - Increasing brand awareness is one of the top goals of any business. And a website is an opportunity to show off how valuable that brand is, as well as what you can offer. With one, your company will easily be found online when searching for the products or services you offer</li><li><b>Access to Information</b> - A website allows your customers to learn about your business 24/7, even outside of regular working hours. Many customers value the ability to visit websites and get the information they need at any time of day.</li></ul>
When creating your website, it is crucial that you consider optimization for all devices, including desktops, mobile phones, and tablets. In the modern world, more consumers are making purchases with their devices. As of January 2022, 55% of Canadian’s make online orders, with Millennial consumers leading this trend.
An important thing to note while you build your website, is to ensure customers have access to the same features they would on the desktop version. Having your website optimized for all devices leads to a better user experience which in turn, creates customer loyalty and higher sales.
Popular Website Platforms
Square – Use their templates to create a free eCommerce platform that allows customers to purchase directly from your website. Key features are the hosting services, payment processing, and its mobile friendly abilities.
Shopify – An all-in-one platform that allows users to create a functional eCommerce website. Key features to consider are product inventory tracking, payment processing, and online analytics.
WordPress –Free customizable builder that allows full control of designing your website. This platform requires the installation of plugins that add features and functionality to the website.
Freelancer website developer – Hire a local website developer that can build a customized website. These individuals are usually more affordable and offer greater flexibility. As with any out-sourced work, it is vital to have a written contract in agreement, to ensure that you get the features that you want.
Website developer firm – Firms offer many of the same things as freelancers do, though they usually have more resources and much larger teams. You can expect to see a higher quote if you choose to work with a firm.
If you want to learn more about the importance of having a website, check out this helpful LinkedIn article. For those of you who are more visual learners, have a look at this short and informative YouTube video on why a website is important for your business.
With advancements in digital technologies, eCommerce has become a vital tool for businesses to grow and remain competitive. It’s the act of a transaction initiated by a consumer for the purpose of quoting, booking/reserving, or purchasing products or services online.
Once you integrate eCommerce, your website becomes your online storefront. Depending on the eCommerce techniques you implement, people can browse through products and services, add items to their shopping cart, and make a payment using a secure payment gateway (purpose of eCommerce website).
One of the main benefits of eCommerce is its 24/7 availability, people can shop and browse at anytime. eCommerce will help set you apart from competitors that do not have it, or help you remain competitive with those that do.
As a small business, you want to ensure you are visible online and that your target audience can find you. One way to do so, is to create a listing in business directories.
A business directory is an online listing of companies, categorized by industry. Businesses can create a listing for their business that include their contact information, specific industry, as well as the products or services they provide. Other features include a link to their website, hours of operation, photos, and customer reviews (What is a Business Directory).
Some directories require payment, but there are many free options available to business owners. Popular business directories include Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor.
Why do you need a business directory?
Local search – Most searches are local, meaning customers are looking for products and services based on their location. You can show up in their search results by having a business directory. This will increase brand awareness and put your business in the mind of the customer.
Easy to reach – Display your contact information in one place. On mobile, customers can easily reach your business with a click of a button, giving them an easier user experience. Make sure to update any changed information and answer any questions provided.
Social media is a valuable marketing platform used to interact, engage, and build relationships with customers. It also allows your business to gain brand awareness.
Three steps to begin developing your social media strategy:
<ul><li><b>Define your audience and goals</b> - Start by defining your reasons to be on social media. Afterwards, list any goals that you want to achieve, such as growth expectations or post frequency. Remember that goals make you accountable, therefore, we recommend following <a href="https://www.wrike.com/blog/how-set-smart-marketing-goals/#What-are-the-benefits-of-setting-SMART-marketing-goals" target="_blank">SMART goal guidelines</a>. Next, define your target audience. What are their characteristics? what are the pain points? Creating a buyer’s persona is also recommended to better narrow your audience.</li><li><b>Choose a social platform</b> - Research which social platforms your target audience use most. They all differ in their presentation format, audience, and messages. Understanding the key features of each will help you choose the right platform for your business and audience.</li><li><b>Create relevant content</b> - Show your audience content that is relatable and engaging. We recommend doing <a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/competitive-analysis-kit" target="_blank">competitive research</a>. By looking at brands similar to your own, you can discover content ideas, relevant hashtags, and trends that are working for them. By doing so, you have a better chance in being in front of your audience. </li></ul>
Ensuring your platforms are secure and keeping your business protected from outside threats are crucial when establishing yourself online. Cybersecurity has become an umbrella term to describe the process of protection against every form of cybercrime.
An eye-opening statistic tells us that small businesses are the target of 43% of all cyber-attacks, and over 50% of small businesses will close after a cyber-attack. It is increasingly important that your business is protected against cybercrime. The best way to do so, is to learn about strategies that implement cybersecurity. See this article for tips for your success.
If you want to learn more about cybersecurity, this video provides easy-to-understand instructions about how it all works.
Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses
Use these tips to secure your small businesses.
<ul><li><b>Train employees</b> - Employees should be given access to specific data systems that are needed for their jobs. Establish rules and penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies.</li><li><b>Backup data</b> - Regularly backup all critical data on all computers.</li><li><b>Secure Wi-Fi networks</b> - Secure, encrypt, and hide your Wi-Fi network. Set up a wireless access point or router that does not show the network name; this is known as a <a href="https://www.techtarget.com/searchmobilecomputing/definition/service-set-identifier" target="_blank">service set identifier (SSID)</a>.</li><li><b>Secure passwords</b> - Create unique complex passwords and change them every three months. Use a multi-factor authentication that requires additional.</li></ul>