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As a small business owner you may well be under the impression that owning your own website is simply not worth the cost and effort in terms of maintenance and running. However if you speak to a Miami web design company for instance, they’ll suggest that because you’re a small business, this is exactly why you should have a website. Here’s why?

Convenience:

Regardless of how local you may think your business is, there’s a pretty good chance that someone somewhere in the world wants exactly what you have to offer. These being the case then why not give it to them? By having a company website they can access your products or services from the comfort of their own home and what’s more important, they can access it 24/7. In addition to this, it allows your existing customers to access your business out of working hours offering a more convenient service. 

Small Business

Your customers expect!

In the 21st century customers are far more shopper savvy. Here’s a case in point! In a recent survey carried out by Google in conjunction with research group Shopper Sciences, it was found that as many as 88% of consumers carried out some form of online research before they bought a product. Not only this, it was found that each consumer consulted an average of 10.4 sources in order to compare prices and find the best deal, before even contemplating parting with their cash. In essence, customers expect a business, no matter how small, to have a virtual presence. Any that don’t are really missing out big time.

Puts you on the map:

The great thing about the internet revolution is that it allows small businesses to compete directly with large organizations on a level playing field. This is something they never could have done before. By employing cost effective strategies in conjunction with practices such as social networking or search engine optimization Miami, New Jersey, and Chicago based companies for example, can help to get your business noticed and effectively put you on the map.

Some small businesses are clearly happy just ticking along and aren’t necessarily looking to expand and for those people then it’s fair to say that a website probably isn’t going to help. However for those who are really looking to grow their business, build a solid customer-focused relationship and grow sales, then it really should be a priority.

Finally here’s another statistic to finish – in 2012 according to a survey carried out by Ado-logy 46% of small businesses who say they want to be more successful don’t have a website! Do you want to be part of this statistic?

Author Bio:

John Mathew manages content for Miami Web Design, a website designing and development company. He loves to share ideas for building a more profitable website by writing on e-commerce and web designing. He also writes on the latest needs for designing a website.

Online ReputationIt’s been four years, but few people have forgotten the Dominos debacle of 2009, in which a prank video about unsanitary food preparation in a Dominos kitchen went viral. Despite significant resources to deal with the situation immediately, the company took 48 hours to respond, and they still haven’t completely lived down the bad press. Hopefully they have learned from the experience, and if there is a next time, they will maintain a stronger online presence and provide a quicker response time.

A positive online presence is crucial to any business, but especially to small businesses. Customers talk about their experiences, and in this instant-gratification world of online review sites and live feeds, they take their praise—and complaints—to the Web. Here are four ways to ensure a positive reputation for your small business:

Make It Personal

The first thing a business should do is put a face to the company, and the best face you can put on your company is yours. Make your website both professional and inviting, so customers can feel like they can email, tweet, or message you on Facebook for a speedy, personal response.

Keep Up

Once your face is on the company social media sites, monitor those sites. Make sure your social media and website is managed by someone who is both professional and informed on the latest technology news and happenings. Have accounts monitored regularly and quickly address any mentions of your brand, both negative and positive. Retweet or share any positive news out there about the company, and post original, positive content regularly.

Respond Quickly

Whether feedback is good or bad, response time is key. Dominos waited 48 hours before they publicly reacted to the YouTube video fiasco, which would have been perfectly acceptable in the days before social media, but today 48 hours is about 47 hours too long.

Manage What’s Posted

Besides watching for your brand being tagged or mentioned on social media, there are other ways to manage the information about your business on the Internet. One way is to use a reputation monitoring service like Reputation.com. This helps minimize any inaccurate information about your business coming up in search engine results.

The last thing you want is to spend time and money repairing a reputation that didn’t have to go south in the first place. Dominos is still working to better their reputation and online customer service. Be proactive and put some safeguards in place to ensure a quality reputation both online and off. Perhaps the best way to ensure that your business earns a great online reputation is to follow the same policies you would for in-person customer service: Be kind and quick.