Regardless of the business you’re in, organization, small business like a coffee shop or music industry, the power of the Internet cannot be under estimated as far as growing your business is concerned.
Why embrace the internet?
The growth in number of people using the Internet has been phenomenal. According to Wikipedia, in 2005, over 1.04 billion people out of 6.5 billion where using the Internet. This number increased to 2.8 billion of the 7.8 billion in 2013. That is 36% of the global population. A total of 536 million are English speaking. However, the Internet makes it easy to translate into another language thereby over coming barriers that exist in the trading business.
Globally, you have a total reach of half of a billion people if you just put yourself online. The advantage of using the internet is that as long as your work is online, you are looking at the global market regardless of where someone is as long as your product is well positioned and there is demand for it. Your product therefore becomes a game changer when you put it online because of the people who are going to use it. With this kind of Statistics, you have so huge opportunities to gain into all global markets.
Traditionally to be a global player, you had to have a head office may be in Kampala, Cairo, New york or any City. But how would you impact or distribute to someone who is millions of miles away from you, the internet changes all these things. This explains why small companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google that do not produce anything apart from being on line are bigger than companies involved in oil and Gas, mining, car production or any kind of production and are game changers because they do a very good product which everybody using the internet will need.
According to Eric schmidt, the Google founder, he called this the technical insight; the global or strategic foundation, as the internet gives you a jump start to reaching markets that you never ever knew existed. This is why even consultants and people who are doing publishing online if they are not online then they are not playing because they are losing a lot of opportunities on the table.
If you don’t have a strong and consistent online strategy, then you are killing your business slowly and time will soon catch up with you because the internet is the next new thing.
Consider a country like Uganda the biggest market is going to be online. You are looking at the middle class those earning 5000 dollars monthly or annual revenue. All these people are using a smart phone, or a computer or access Internet via the internet cafe or at least they have gone through and finished University and have got Face book, LinkedIn and twitter accounts. The question is how you reach them because the Internet is the most effective and cheapest tool on online marketing and creating brand visibility.
Below are strategies to make the most of your Internet investment.
The first thing is to ensure that you have a consistent brand visibility.
- Out of 1 billion internet users on Facebook, in Uganda, about 20% of the internet users have a Facebook account which is a huge number. You therefore need to ask yourself how you are leveraging your business on Facebook in terms of likes and consistence of people who see the products you are showing, so that by the time you go to sell to them, they have already got to know about the brand from your face book page which makes the selling process easier.
- Another thing is, if you are going to sell physically, you are looking at the Geographical limitations of your market, however, putting the concept of online business; you are looking at the global context of the business. Geographically you are restricted to the physical people who can reach your product whereas on Internet, you are not restricted anybody who can read can read so much that there are packages and tools where by incase someone does not know how to speak English and the website is in English, automatically the tool converts it to the language they need and are able to read the product. If they like it, they will buy.
- To do good online strategy, one must build a community of online users. When someone comes to your website, how do you make sure you get information out of them? It is not all about having a website but having one which collects information from first time visitors. The visitors need to know where to subscribe from on visiting the website. The human tendency is that one will not give you his or her personal information unless he or she gets something of benefit which is why you must give a freebie; something to download, in consideration to one giving his or her contacts which is why you must make sure your website is always up to date and has some free benefits for people to download.