does-a-small-business-need-a-websiteWhen you are launching your new small business, you face a LOT of “Must Dos”. But all small business owners – regardless as to whether or not their business is brand new or well-established – face the same challenge: TIME.

Small business owners have all the same business tasks that medium and large companies have, except you have very, very few people to spread those tasks among.

We work with entrepreneurs and small business owners everyday, and one of the first things we tell them is that we know they can’t do it all and that we like to be realistic and practical about what actually MUST be done in order to be competitive in today’s business environment.

So, when it comes to establishing and growing your business online, what do you actually have to do? Here’s a list.

  • A Website Yes.Years ago, a website made your business looking fresh, cutting edge, and impressive. But now, (good) websites are a basic expectation that your customers have, and your business may actually be judged negatively if you don’t have a website presence at all.
  • Social Media Accounts Yes, at least 1 account. The expectation that your business has a social media presence is quickly following in the same evolutionary footsteps of customer expectations for business websites. To be practical and realistic, though…you are better off utilizing 1 social media platform, and utilizing it well, than creating 3 or 4+ social media accounts, and putting little effort into each.
  • A Business Blog Maybe. No, if you know there’s no way you can keep up with a consistent posting. The benefits of business blogging are lengthy, however it reflects very poorly on your business if the most recent blog post showing is dated 6 months ago.
  • An Email Newsletter Maybe. Though you definitely need to be collecting email addresses from your customers with or without an official email newsletter. You might be like us and realize you have a couple strong avenues for generating sales leads already, so it isn’t worth it to you to add one more task to your To Do list.
  • SEO Yes. If you are having a new website created for your business, make sure it’s being developed using a CMS or platform that is SEO-friendly. After that, you can hire an SEO to optimize your site for you, or become trained on how to do it for yourself! Good optimization is the “generating new business gift” that keeps on giving.
  • Google AdWords Campaigns Maybe. No, if you optimize your website for search. Google AdWords campaigns can be helpful during the business launch period because everything about your business is so new that you aren’t organically showing up in search yet. However, as soon as the AdWords funding stops, so do your top of Page 1 rankings. You’re better off putting the AdWords campaign money into SEO for your website as that will pay off over and over and over through the years.
  • Paid Facebook Campaigns Maybe. No, if Facebook isn’t currently part of your social media strategy. I know that Facebook’s ad product is considered the best option for online advertising right now. However, if you don’t have an active Facebook page, I wouldn’t recommend Facebook advertising.

When it’s broken down online marketing piece by online marketing piece, the tasks truly required by a small business in order to be maximize success, hopefully isn’t as overwhelming as previously thought. Start with only what’s actually required, and if you’ve got your groove with that, add on to your list, one by one.

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