Gone are the days when you were able to compete fair and square with other businesses in town.In the current business scene, unless you have an active and properly structured online presence, you are going to be outplayed, outsmarted and outwitted by your competition. They can literally pull the rug from under your feet – and end up with your clients who have also gone online to look for more accessible businesses to patronize.

So, if your business is still relying on purely in-house physical store sales, then you know you must take the only logical step up and go online. Here are some ways on how you can do it.

Generate traffic to your site

Starting your online business is one thing, generating traffic and making it a success is another. But without a store front or obvious physical business location, let alone any kind of physical signage, generating traffic is one of the biggest challenges of starting an online business.

To do this, take time to write an integrated marketing plan that maximizes both online and offline channels – and delivers a consistent brand message through both.

Blog about the business

Once you have optimized your site, you must think of content which will keep your clients glued to your site. Search engines love good organic content, and one of the most effective ways of keeping your site fresh and search engine-friendly is to incorporate a blog into your site.

Blogs provide business owners with unprecedented ways of reaching and engaging with large audiences in a way that the traditional one-way information push of a company website could never do.Additionally, blogs can help put a human face to your business while showcasing your knowledge and passion for your chosen field.

And unlike the static content of a business website, blogs are collaborative and invite comments – a great way to engage with and solicit feedback from your customers.

Use the internet as a means of providing customer support

Customer accusation and retention is one of the key factors of business value chain. Thanks to Internet technology, business can provide customer support more effectively. This means better customer satisfaction and increase of profitability.

You can now address issues and complaints on equal ground – enabling you to defend yourself against any sort of negative feedback circulating. You can check on clients, and ask for feedback about their customer experience, and ask about ways your business can improve. The internet’s advantages are endless.

Use the internet tomake information more easily available to customers.

Just a couple of years ago, companies used to require days to deliver products or services update information to their customers. Things have changed since then. Today you can add or make any changes to your company and product related content virtually in a matter of couple of hours, publish on your site and share with the whole world.

You can answer queries without the telephone ringing incessantly – driving you crazy, and taking time off from your personal interactions with clients in your physical store.

You can take your business global

Thanks to Internet you can instantly become a global player. In fact, you don’t have to invest large sums of money to do this. There are literally hundreds of vertical and horizontal e-marketplaces available on the net. These marketplaces allow you for a nominal fee to get access to a large audience of prospective customers from all over the world.

And the ultimate advantage of getting your business online – you now have the ability to do business 24 hours.

How else you can continue making sales, while your staff and stuff are sleeping? The biggest advantages of online shops are that they are open 24 hours a day year round. Thanks to Internet off time, when your shop is generally closed, sales in some cases can be more than your regular business hours. You can make money as you sleep or bond with family… without having to pay employees overtime pay.

Now, need any more convincing?