There are many businesses that operate just fine without an online counterpart. However, compared to the other businesses that have an online presence, they are missing opportunities to grow their business.

Whether your business is just starting or is already established, an online presence is important for your continued success. If you’re thinking about taking your business online, then here are some tips on what you need for your business to succeed online.

A Defined Goal or Set of Goals

Established businesses have an advantage as they already have their goals defined and they will use their online presence as an extension of their marketing strategies to achieve these goals.

On the other hand, businesses just starting and planning to go online can approach this step as an opportunity to redefine their goals and further strengthen their current efforts to achieve these goals.

It is important to have the goals already defined for your business before you go the next step in planning your online presence. This gives you several benefits later on:

  • It will be easier for you to look for service providers who can provide for your goals
  • They will serve as a guide for you and your selected service provider in creating your website and other requirements
  • Your goals will serve as your milestones for your business’ online activities
  • This will make it easier for you to measure the success of your online presence
  • Your goals will unify all your activities for both your online and offline customers

Your goals will give you and your customers a sense of consistency for all your activities.

A Professional Service Provider

It is important to get a professional service provider to help you create your online presence. You may think they are not cheap, but you will realize the value of their quality services and expertise in the long run when your business starts to benefit from your online efforts.

Hiring a professional service provider may sound like an expense for your business, but their help should be welcomed as an investment that will boost your business to move forward in your goals.

There are many high-priced professional service providers and there are as many cheap and affordable ones too. It is preferable to get one near your area so you can meet personally to discuss details later on.

In looking for one, it helps to make sure that they too have an online presence – a website – and then check out the following:

  • The Company
    • How long they have been in the business?
    • Are their key personnel credible for the job?
    • What other service do they offer that could help my business?
    • Does their website make it easy to contact them?
  • Portfolio
    • What type of clients have they had?
    • Are there some projects similar to mine?
    • Do I like some of the projects they have?
  • Clients
    • Are their clients well-known or professionals as well?
    • Do they have clients similar to my business?
    • What do their clients say about their work?

These three (3) aspects of the service provider should give you some solid hints on how they may be able to deliver your requirements and in what way. Just looking at their portfolio and clients should give you a feeling of whether or not you would like to work with them.

You should also check their website for their contact number, which should be easily found, and give them a call so you can get more information. Or you can get an initial quote from them for your project so you can estimate your budget.

A professional service provider should be able to discuss with you how your goals and requirements will be implemented online.

A Schedule of Activities

Once your website is up, this does not mean that your work is also done. To maintain your business online presence, you need to make sure your customers always have something new to check when they visit your site.

Depending on the nature of your business and the functionalities of your website, you or your service provider may do the updating. So what are some of these activities? Here are some basic examples:

  • Regular content – this may be in the form of articles or a blog post or even a video or slideshow or a newsletter
  • New information – aside from regular content, new information includes updates on your products and/or services or even related information such as events your business has been involved with that are not necessarily part of your service
  • Answering customer inquiries – this may not appear on your website, but as long as your customers get a response from you, they will remain aware of your business
  • Asking for customer feedback – you can actually ask your customers to give you feedback on some of your products or services. Again this depends on your website’s functionalities

There are two (2) goals for always having something new on your website.

  1. This keeps your customers engaged with your business as they always have a reason to come back to your website.
  2. This helps your online presence gain significance in the search engines and will help to getting top ranking on their search results.

Your service provider should be able to help you plan these activities. They can even help you further define your goals. They will be your partner in creating and even managing your business presence online.