Before I begin, I just want to through some raw numbers out there from a report on small businesses from the research firm WebVisible and Nielsen (yes, that Nielsen). .
- 82% of consumers use online search engines to find a local business
- 70% of consumers will call a phone number in a search engine result
- 60% of consumers have referred a friend to a business they found online
- 92% of Internet users have researched a product or service online, then purchased offline from a local business at least once.
- 56% of all small businesses do not have a website
- 65% of small business owners believe it is important to know how they are found by their customers
- 26% Have invested in Internet search engine marketing to promote their business
- 66% typically find what they need when searching on the Web, though 39% have trouble finding specific businesses when they are not adequately represented on the Web.
- 78% of small business owners dedicate 10% or less of their overall budget to marketing efforts.
- Half of small business owners spend less than 10% of their marketing budget on Internet advertising, while 30% do no Internet advertising at all.
The REALLY Ugly:
- 41% (the largest group) of small business owners turn to search engines first to locate a local business
How does it make sense to a small business owner to not use the internet to gain new customers? Think about a couple of things here.
First off we know that more small business owners use search engines to find business just like them. We also know that 56% of them don't even have a website....
We know that consumers use search engines, will call a resulted business, buy from them, and then send a friend to that business. But we also know that of the businesses online that only a very small fraction of them spend actually actively try to find these customers.
I believe that many small business owners believe in "If you build it, they will come." What they don't realize is that Field of Dreams was a terrible movie and didn't make any sense at all and is not the basis for any marketing plan (nor should any movie or ficitional piece of work).
There are customers out there. They want to give you business. But they are not going to come to you because you are in business. They are going to give their money, time, loyalty and referrals to the businesses who they can find.
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