When it comes to saving money and freeing up working capital, the Internet can be a small business owner’s best friend. Going online can help with everything from cutting costs to saving time to generating revenue. Here are a few ways your company could more fully take advantage of Internet resources.
Selling your product or service online can be a great way to start off your business or an excellent way to supplement sales in your retail or other outlets. If you are just getting started, online sites like eBay, Etsy.com, and Yahoo! Auctions can help you get your product out there with very little cost. Once your business takes off, creating your own online storefront through your website is the next step. As long as you can keep shipping costs reasonable, the Internet is a very efficient and profitable means of getting your products to your clients.
So many suppliers have their products available online, often with free shipping, that you can sometimes find better deals than with local providers. A quick search on the Internet will show where the lowest prices are. You can have everything from office supplies to your product inventory delivered directly to your office at lower prices with help from online retailers.
Do not underestimate the value of social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all great free tools to advertise your business, post about special events or promotions, and just spread the word about your company’s products or services. Make sure you attach your website URL everywhere you can (business cards, company cars, in all emails, Facebook posts, etc.) to draw people to your site. These steps can save your company thousands in traditional marketing and advertising fees.
Another way to attract customers is to expand your Internet presence. Go into news groups and online discussion groups that have to do with your trade. This is not the place to sell your product, but it is a way to ask questions about the needs and desires of potential customers and also a place to answer questions about your industry and establish yourself as an expert. That in turn will draw people to your website and increase your business’ revenue.