There are thousands of small businesses in the UK missing a trick, one which could help them expand their customer base and profit margins, potentially by a huge percentage.
It’s quite simple; they still haven’t considered moving into the online world so that they can offer their goods and services beyond the local market they operate in.
Many of such companies might operate in niche markets and feel that what they do won’t translate into global or even national markets accessed via the web.
It’s a truism, of course, but the internet truly does make the world a smaller place. Prior to its advent, it was much harder for a small, niche player to make an impact beyond their shores, or even within a country. Their products and services just wouldn’t have been able to reach a big enough audience without spending the vast sums on marketing that would have been needed.
However, the internet gives all businesses potential to have a professional-looking and functioning website, showcasing your business to the world, designed & built for as little as £995. There has never been a better time for companies operating in what would be considered niche markets to take what they do to a much greater number of consumers.
Just about whatever your niche, there are still plenty of opportunities for your business afforded to you online, with the right website and marketing approach to back it up and get people to visit it.
Take a local accountancy firm near you. It might survive on local people and businesses using its services and is doing ok, for the time being, without having to really consider expanding whatever online presence it may have.
However, if it continues to believe that such an approach will sustain the business in the years to come, it’ll be a mistake. A quick Google reveals that the savviest accountancy firms are now offering their services via sophisticated online sites on a national and even international basis, even small ‘local’ players.
Clients might be drawn from as far afield as the large expat British community living in Spain, for example, but retaining interests and property in the UK. Or the large number of UK workers seconded and working on contracts for firms in North America and the rapidly expanding markets of the Far East.
In the UK, an accountancy firm’s bread and butter work, submitting tax returns or auditing companies, is not only being offered to local businesses by a clued-up company, but anyone who contacts the businesses from anywhere in the country.
Those firms which stick to a local approach will begin to die, as firms based in other areas, but with a more aggressive online strategy will draw local business away from them. Why use your local firm when you could get £150 knocked off the bill by using a firm with a good online reputation, based in, well, who-cares-where?
Speaking from our own perspective we get around 20% of our customers from outside of the UK.
We’ve worked for hundreds of businesses operating in what are considered niche business areas, but which have decided that their future lies as much with national or international markets that they can access via the internet as much as it does servicing their local community’s needs.
It’s these businesses that will survive the seemingly worsening problems of the UK High Street, and the issues arising from people now looking beyond their local proximity via the internet.
Let’s talk about an example client, but their story is typical. For many years the owners had operated from a retail outlet in Essex and hadn’t even considered mail order as a way of selling beyond their regional borders.
However, along comes the internet and they sensibly saw the potential.
We talked to them about their needs and what they were trying to achieve with an ecommerce website. Once they decided that we were the right web company to help them, we built them a great-looking and powerful ecommerce site, with all the functionality you would expect from a sophisticated online retailer, but at a fraction of the cost other agencies might have charged.
They now sell to customers as far afield as Australia and North America, as well as within the UK. Well beyond the confines of just Essex!
The business is seeing an increasing chunk of its profits come from online sales, where the margins, because of the low-cost of operating the website, are much greater.
A website doesn’t become a success overnight however, or by simply existing. It needs an on-going targeted marketing campaign to help bring potential customers to it.
Not only do we build great websites at low prices, but we can also help ensure your site doesn’t sit in an internet void without anyone visiting it by using targeted SEO and other online marketing techniques. You’ll find our packages affordable, but we are also very proud of the quality of our web design and the ongoing service we offer all clients.