You’ve worked hard to build your local business, and you realize that you might be missing out on dollars by not being online, congratulations! You know that in this technology-driven age, people are getting online to look for EVERYTHING, including the stuff that you sell.
You know that you need to be there, online, to virtually greet those people when they’re searching. You know that not being there means you’re missing all of those people. So you’re ready to get your brick & mortar business online.
- Platform. How are you going to sell your products online? You’ll be re-creating your physical store on the interwebs so you need to make sure you have the capability to do things like upload images of your products and manage the online inventory. There’s Woocommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Instacart, Volusion, Bigcommerce and Bigcartel just to name a few.
- Payments. A shopper isn’t a shopper until they’ve paid for something, so how will you accept online payments? Linking your online payment processor to your current in-store process would be the path of least resistance.
- Promotion. Considering you have a “real life” client base already, they would be the best place for you to begin promoting your online offerings. Distribute flyers locally, in customer shopping bags, on community bulletin boards, and don’t forget notify your email subscribers and social media connections that you’re expanding to the online space.
- Persistence. You’re not gonna see huge amounts of website traffic on day 1, BUT if you stick with this newfangled internets thing, you will see results. Just like anything else, you have to put the work in, don’t quit after 27 days because you aren’t a millionaire yet. Give people time to get as excited about you going online as you are, just keep going.
Again, I want to congratulate you for 1) recognizing the power of having an online presence and 2) getting off your butt and taking action. If you read this with a certain level of “I’m still not sold on this internet”, then you should probably read this post, come back to read this again, and get to work.
Your business deserves every bit of your optimism and sweat equity.
To Your Greatness,