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There is a common misconception among home business owners that they do not need an online presence to make their business successful. Most small business owners assume that they can easily make it with a store front, some simple, traditional advertising, and maybe an ad in the phone book and they are all set. Yet, without an online presence, many small business and home businesses will fail to find large groups of their target market.
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Reasons to Have an Online Presence
Most of today's consumers search out information on a business or company online before they contact the business for services. So, you need to make sure that you consider the possibility that around 40% of your target market base will never find you if they cannot seek you out online. This is a huge percentage of your small business market that you will be losing without some type of online presence for your home business or small business. An easy way to see what amount of business you are losing without an online presence, simply look at your numbers for the past few months and take an average of 40% from your profits. This is the extra money that your small business is missing without any type of online presence, and surely every small business out there can use that extra profit margin!
You also need to take into account the percentage of your target market that will purchase services or goods from you online. There is a growing number of consumers out there who shop mainly online from the comforts of their own homes. If your small business or home business does not have an online presence, then you are now missing out on that target market group as well. This can also prevent your small business or home business from branching out to new market groups that you did not previously consider. With the ability to purchase from you online, you will open up your home business or small business to a completely different market. You will also open up your business for sales after normal business hours which can also bring in a significant amount of business.
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What Type of Online Presence is Right for My Business?
Now that you are starting to see the importance of an online presence for your home business, you need to consider what types of online presence will benefit you the most. Most small business owners assume that they only need a web site for their business when this is actually just the start of your online presence for your business.
There are actually several different ways that you need to develop an online presence for your home business so that customers will not only find you, they will know that you provide the highest quality services they can find. In the next few parts of this series, I will take you through the steps that you need to take to help develop an online presence for your home business in these areas: web sites, expertise listings, articles, news, and press releases. You don't have to be a million-dollar business to afford these things, and I will show you how to do them well and make them work for you.