So that you can keep your small business where it is normally looking at the competition in the rearview mirror, there are a number of tasks that you must do on a regular basis.
While some of these tasks are rather easy to stay up on, others can seem more daunting. In fact, some can seem downright hard to accomplish.
That said one task that you should be focusing in on more and more in 2016 and beyond; making sure you have a relevant online presence.
From having a website that offers solid marketing blog content to being an active player on social media, you can never underestimate the importance your online presence has.
Review Your Website from Front to Back
When it comes to having a winning online offering for both current and potential customers, keep these ideas on the front-burner:
- Work out the kinks – Is your small business website unfortunately still dealing with kinks and other tech issues? If so, work them out before doing anything else. Even though some consumers may be on the patient side, many others will not be as receptive to going on your site and finding broken links and other gaffes. When the latter happens, there is a good chance that they will give their family and friends a bad review of your site, thereby leading to less revenue opportunities. Doing regular reviews of your site to make sure it is working as well as possible is something to never overlook;
- Rentals just as important as sales – Although most small business owners would prefer a sale over a rental (the former tends to mean more money), rentals can be a big moneymaker for your company. As such, whether you are renting out items for the home, office or a number of other venues, make sure you put your rentals in the best online light. This means having a good description and image (or more than one) available for the potential renter to view. For example, if you’re renting out something more unique like an underwater chainsaw, it is good to have not only a picture or two of the item, but also as much detail about the product as possible. Such details include not only how it works, but what accessories can go with it etc. When the potential renter doesn’t have to leave your site to find out more information and/or check out the competition’s offering, you stand a much better chance of providing the rental and earning revenue in the process;
- Don’t forget the actual checkout process – How many times have you as a consumer gone on a site to buy or rent something, only to leave rather disappointed? Unfortunately, it happens too often for many online shoppers. They arrive at a site with high hopes, but they are quickly dashed when getting to the actual checkout and payment process. If that happens, they may scoot over to a competitor’s site, never to be heard from again. It is a good idea to regularly review your site’s checkout process, making sure that it runs smoothly. The customer should be able to rent their item of choice, make the payment, and then exit the site (of course knowing that all went well). Doing customer service follow-ups is always a good idea too;
- Social component to winning rentals and sales – If social media has been in your company’s rearview mirror up to now, change that immediately. Your brand can stand to gain so much from a robust social media plan, that you’re foolish to not be socially active. Use social sites like Facebook and Twitter to talk about your rental and sales products and services, using shares and tweets. When it comes to Instagram, this is a great business vehicle for sharing photos of the items you have for rent or sale. While you do not have to become fixated with social media, it is important to have a presence on several of the better-known sites.
In order for your online rentals to be winners, be sure you are following the above tips.
When you do, you could very well see your brand’s revenue stream going up.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.