Regional small businesses face many challenges. Fact. There are several reasons you might have delayed to gain an online presence- time poor, unsure of where to start, unreliable internet service, or maybe you believe your business growth is maxed out. Let us bust some of the common myths about small businesses going digital!
Myth 1. "My cafe has been here for 20 years- everyone knows about it"
Everyone with a 50km radius definitely knows about it! But what about a potential tourist or visitor- they have no idea you have fresh homemade cakes 3 days a week. Or they may have heard about you, but can't find your opening hours and sadly arrive to town on the day you are closed. Think about all of the transient people from backpackers to caravaners to city dwellers, and you know country folk don't bat an eye at travelling a couple hours to catch up with a friend over a cuppa. Make it easy for them to find out about you!
Takeaway tip: There are so many hidden gems in regional areas- from historic pubs, to funky cafes, to amazing hairdressers. Inform transient people of your business and give them a reason to visit your area! Start small with one social media page or a website landing page, but most importantly get listed on Google!
Myth 2: "Our hardware is doing fine without any digital strategy"
You probably are doing fine! We respect it takes a lot of grunt for a regional business to survive. But what if you could do more than survive- possibly even thrive? Hypothetically, consider your hardware has the ability to price match with major department stores, or a supplier is giving you special pricing on reticulation materials. Let your customers know- so they can take advantage of these special offers!
Takeaway tip: Consider a social media page or an email newsletter to keep your customers and community informed of any specials, changes in hours, or maybe even post a few DIY suggestions!
Myth 3: "I have a Twitter account, but never get any interaction"
Activity builds activity. If you built a Twitter page but never posted any content- it is unlikely you are giving an audience anything to interact with! But you might also consider, maybe Twitter isn't the correct platform for your business? Maybe your business is better suited for a basic website, or your audience is actually on Instagram!
Takeaway tip: Ensure your target market is actually using the platform you are focusing on. Not sure where your target market is? It might take a bit of trial and error- using a few different platforms until you find one that gels with you and your consumers. Make sure you have a solid idea of your target market, and a clear brand identity.
Myth 4: "If I get more business at my pub- it is taking away customers from another business"
We completely understand this idea, and it truly shows the amazing spirit of country businesses. But let's say the additional customers you are attracting comes from a new work crew in town or from people passing through the caravan park. What if instead of "taking away" business you could actually support another pub in another area? Think of creating a virtual pub crawl across your region- each pub recommends one another and builds a strong network. This way the transient customer base you captured might be captured by another business!
Takeaway tip: Consider cross-marketing strategies and a referral program to support similar businesses across a vast regional area. Utilise social media to build a network of support in your industry.
Myth 5: "I don't have enough time to add digital media to my ever growing to do list."
Okay this one we believe, it probably isn't a myth! We understand small business owners are often time poor and have to focus on things that require your immediate attention. Unfortunately, taking the time to develop a great digital strategy is a luxury you may not have. So we have some suggestions.