Everyone knows who “we are!” Yes, you’re an established company with perhaps years of sales history and a customer roll that is longer than a country mile.
All good you say? Well hold on, while your business may very well be well know in your local community, established and respected, something else is taking place that you may not have paid much attention to or given much thought.
People are more mobile than ever. Job transfers, family circumstances ; birth, aging and even death affect how people move and relocate.
This means new potential customers are coming into your city or town on an almost daily basis. Many of them will not have a well established network of friends or relatives but what they will have is a need.
A need for products and services, anyone of which you may be in the business of providing . When the time comes to make a buying decision and without the aforementioned “sources” to rely upon about who is a good doctor, attorney, contractor, plumber or even the best place to get mani-pedi, they are going to rely on and have come to trust, despite the ramblings of those who say “it doesn’t matter”, they are going to make their buying decisions based on their findings.
And who is this reliable and trusted source. Of course it’s Google.
As far as small local businesses go, such a well known and trusted authority is almost incredibly the best kept secret around.
For small businesses that are smart enough to realize that it’s more than worth it to be properly listed and searchable by Google, a sizeable (profitable) amount of their business can be and is directly attributed to the fact that they are well positioned and listed with Google and other reputable directories For them, this is money in the bank.
The fact is, if you have not taken the time to isure that your business shows up in Google Maps and related directories, you’re handing over profits and customers to your better positioned competition and believe me, they are grateful to you for it.
Without ensuring that this very simple but important aspect of your businesses public face is not up to date, you are essentially invisible to Google but much worse, to anyone who doesn’t know that you have been in business for 30 years and have the best contracting service in town. None of that will matter to new potential clients who don’t know you and don’t know you exist because you simply have not taken time (and free) step to be visible to Google.
And before you begin your rebuttal with “we have a website – we’re online” , I don’t care what your web designer told you – Just having a website is not enough.
Some of the big Web design players can dazzle you with slick commercials full of happy faced smiling actors telling you how your new website will attract customers magically to your business but without a solid Google presence, your business’s information might do better scrawled on the wall of a bus terminal bathroom stall.
Maybe you’re not getting sparkly card with giant happy faces on them from your competitors who know what you don’t but you can be sure that for every day that you fail to do this one simple task for your business is another day and opportunity for them to take profits out of your pocket and place them into theirs.
And before I close, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you are listed in the “Yellow Pages” that that will be enough. I have a new phone book too. It has been sitting on my printer for the better part of a year now and is only moved when I need to dust. The fact is, I don’t need it and don’t use it.
I’m not one known as a betting man but I’d lay down odds that I’m not alone as being among the ranks of those that do not bother with a phone book when looking for and researching products and services.
Get with the program. It’s not 1960. It’s 2015. If your business is not online and well positioned in the SERPS, it’s not just invisible, in a modern world, it’s already dead.