Using technology to market your business
by Andrew Newton Brown
Technology in business is important, but many business owners may think it’s too hard to implement, or that they just plain don’t need it.
Setting up a website can be a great way to market your business. It allows people to find your business more easily, as well as inform them of your products and/or services.
Simon van Wyck, founder of HotHouse and managing director of OurPatch, says it’s important for businesses to be online because there is so much activity online these days.
He also says you need to work out what’s relevant to people who will potentially use your business.
“Think about what your users really want from your business,” he says. “If you’re a restaurant, for example, all they really need to know is who you are, where you are and what’s on your menu. You don’t have to over engineer some of these things or have to do too much. You just have to make sure you give some thought to what your customers might need and you give it to them.”
It’s important that your website is easy-to-navigate. If people can’t find what they want easily, they will more than likely move to the next website that does things more simply. Your contact details should be easy to find on your website. The website should also be kept up-to-date with the latest products you are offering. An out-of-date website can lead to disappointed customers, and that’s not good for word of mouth marketing!
If you have a shopfront, provide a map on your website with the address of your store. Also show the locations of the closest bus stop, train station or parking.
You could also look at setting up a blog to inform people about your latest products or what’s going on in your industry. If you own a florist, for example, and it’s the season for a particular type of flower, tell people about it, and tell them what makes it so good at this time of year. You could even give people a little history about the flower. Invite people to make suggestions or ask questions on your blog.
Another way to keep your customers and business contacts informed is to set up an account with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
With all of these communication tools, however, it’s important to work out first whether they would benefit your business.
4. Don’t keep your website a secret
Remember to advertise the fact you have a website to everyone. There’s no point in it being the world’s best-kept secret! Include your website address on all documents, such as invoices, receipts and letters. Make sure it’s the signature of your emails along with all your other contact details. And hyperlink the website address so it is easy for people to click through to your website from the email. Also include the website address on your business cards. Importantly, tell people about it. Make sure you use technology to your advantage.
Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
Published on: Thursday, August 26, 2010