You may be familiar with the age-old expression that the three keys to success in Real Estate are “Location, location and location“. Clearly building family housing in the middle of an industrial zone is not likely to attract buyers.
Similarly, Your Small Business must be located, well… as close as possible to prospective customers. A tattoo parlor in a retirement village might attract curious onlookers, but probably not enough buyers to keep you in business. A shop specializing in infant and toddler wear in a location populated by childless professionals is likewise doomed to failure.
The strategic importance of location in the physical world may be somewhat obvious, but what about in the virtual world of online business? “Location?” you might ask. “Isn’t online everywhere??” Well, yes and no. In the case of launching an online business, location applies to the likelihood of your website being seen and visited by your prospective customer or client.
“If you build it, they will come” applies only to that baseball movie starring Kevin Costner. Many online Small Business owners and operators make the mistake of believing that once they’ve built their shiny, “Web 2.0” site, their work is done. The stark reality is that merely having a website, however well-designed, simply isn’t enough to guarantee a steady stream of paying customers. A website in the forest of the Internet that has no traffic makes no money.
There are more active registered websites than there are human beings walking the planet. That’s “billions”, with a “B”. This means that many websites languish in obscurity, receiving no traffic whatever. Clearly, steps must be taken to increase the likelihood of attracting potential clients to your site.
Here’s a short list, by no means exhaustive, of traffic building tips:
- Register your site with the major search engines (you can do this yourself – don’t wait to be noticed)
- Use “meta tags” and keywords properly (click the links for guidance)
- Create a Google Places listing (this is the equivalent of a listing in the local phone book white pages)
Just as you cannot take your existing clients or customers for granted, you can’t take your potential clients for granted either. Businesses, Small and large, depend on the steady flow of activity from clients old and new to survive.
The Internet, fast, interactive and virtual, allows Small Businesses to compete at a level that may be impossible if they are required to maintain a physical facility. But even a virtual storefront must be properly maintained, or it will soon display the digital equivalent of a “Going out of Business” sign.
Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com