Internet: a tool for growth of small businesses
The number of internet users is increasing phenomenally in recent years. But many small businesses in Bangladesh do not notice this phenomenon or consider taking advantage of this trend.
Little do they know that an online presence can help take their business to the next level.
A rise in the number of internet users in Bangladesh
According to data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the number of internet users almost doubled in the last two years; it shot up from 30.48 million in 2013 to 58.31 million in February 2016. Business houses with a web presence have the ability to reach out to these people by adopting a different marketing strategy.
Ensuring an online presence
Nowadays, when someone wants to buy a product, they just Google it. They can find out where it is available -- different brands, the price, and quality to get the best deal. When a business entity is not present online, its products -- no matter how great in quality -- go unnoticed by online users.
Establishing business credibility
By putting up its information such as address, mission and objectives, and product details, a business can gradually establish credibility. Without a website, customers get an impression that the business might be very small and does not deserve attention.
Expanding global footprint
A website is the most effective tool to get more customers and create a market for the products worldwide. Internet Live Stats assesses that the number of internet users in 2016 is 3.33 billion -- which is 40 percent of the world's population.
Company's size really does not matter
A business website not only earns credibility, but also creates a larger-than-life impression. This is good news. A small business can even beat a large multinational company in the Google Ranking, if it runs a good website with the latest technologies that draw larger crowds with high quality content.
Access from anywhere, anytime
Unlike a real-world office, a business website is up and accessible to customers 24 hours a day. Customers will always get to know about the products and services on offer, freeing them from the compulsion of office hours. Businesses can even have a 24-hour product sales mechanism online.
Enriching customer experience, satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is vital for any business house. Through a website, it can always collect data on customer insight, feedback, reviews, and problems, and address the issues accordingly.
Getting close to customers
Finally, I think there are two reasons why most small business houses do not have their websites. Firstly, many of them do not even feel the necessity of such web sites and secondly, they think such initiative is very costly. I have already mentioned why website is so necessary. Let me also point out that actually building a small business website is not at all costly. Such a webpage, which will have your vision, mission, address, contacts and products or services list would have 10 to 15 sub-pages. It's not at all a costly complicated affair to launch such a page.
Then again, you would off course want your web page visitors to become your customers. How do you do that? In my next topic, I will focus on how to turn your web page visitor into your customer and that customer to a happy customer.
MH Sunny is the lead programmer & Analyst of digital media at The Daily Star.