If you have reached the point where growing your business means hiring more employees and adding locations, you may be wondering if the potential return is worth the risk. You have heard stories about other businesses finding success online, but you don't have much experience with technology. Companies that provide web hosting services for small businesses understand your concerns, and they can offer flexible, affordable options to help you set up and grow your Internet business.
Envision Your Business Online
Running an online business requires many of the same skills you need to manage a physical store. Business owners have proven that you can sell anything online, from clothes to frozen foods. Before you take that leap, you should plan how you want to present your business and what type of services you want to offer visitors to your website. Are you going to offer all of the same products that you sell in your store, or are you going to make your site a destination that could evolve into a community of people with similar interests? eCommerce websites fail when owners don't have a vision for what they want out of them. Your web hosting provider can work with you to help you determine the right plan for your needs.
Easy to Get Started
Even with limited Internet experience, you can have your website running within minutes. Basic services include professional website templates that provide the tools you need to display and describe your products, your own domain name and associated e-mail addresses to establish your online brand, and the ability to process secure payments online so that customers can order at any time. Many services also include basic reporting tools to help you track visitors to your site.
You Can Do More Online
Once you feel comfortable with your website, you can consider additional services such as customized website design, marketing tools, and content management. You may want to enhance your brand by having the site designed specifically to suit your needs, and you may also want your business established on social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, g+, ....) so that your customers can interact with you. You may want to include videos and posts that show more of your personality or help customers understand your products better. You may not understand how it works, but if you know your business, you can find e-commerce solutions that will help you put your plan together.
eCommerce Solutions that Fit Your Budget
You have flexibility in how to fit your website into your budget once you have a plan that makes sense for your business. Most providers offer a range of choices, and you can adjust your plan as your needs change or your online efforts become more successful. Some e-commerce solutions offer a free trial period, allowing you to test whether or not a website makes sense for you. Your website can be a true extension of your business, and you can find affordable solutions that cost less than an additional hire.
Without having a eCommerce website, you risk missing opportunities for additional sales and growth. Those missed opportunities cost you much more than the time and money you might spend on maintaining your online business. You may have taken a risk when you started your business, and if you believe in what your business has to offer, you should have no trouble taking a small risk by putting it online.