Fatal Warning to Small Businesses
Fatal Warning to Small Businesses
If you run a small business you need to start heading the warning signs that the market is giving you. Sometimes I feel like that crazy guy on the side of the road with the cardboard sign that says “The End is Near.” Preaching like an apocalyptic prophet about what is to come and sadly very few seem to be actually listening. The fact of the matter is that if you don’t start upping your game online your dream business is going to suffer and potentially face catastrophic failure. Those businesses that are actively pursuing greatness in the online marketing & advertising space will make it through the hurricane, earthquake, tornado of the next 3-5 years. Those that don’t will find themselves scrambling very soon to catch up and wonder how they fell so far behind. And the ones who don’t ever make the effort will end up the way of the dinosaur….extinct.
Now if we look at a bit of history similar warning could have been given to many businesses back in the 90’s and early 2000’s with the advent of the “world wide web” and the need to have an informational website, email address, contact management, etc. Things moved along through that time period and businesses had time to adapt but with Amazon and some other big players…many businesses were crushed. The little guy had no way of defending themselves and just kind of…went away.
Well the same thing is about to happen to business again. The difference today is the percentage of consumers online is astronomical and the tools available to make shopping and buying are so much more advanced. Back in the day the ability to be online was way too cumbersome for anyone over the age of 30. Now senior citizens are tapping away at their smart phones on social media, googling their questions about where the cast of the Golden Girls is today, and buying all sorts of products online. They’re also looking up videos on YouTube on how to fix their refrigerator because unlike gen x’ers and millennials, they don’t believe in just throwing shit away and buying a new one. A quality that I personally find inspiring.
So what’s going to happen to companies that aren’t reading the writing on the walls and how can they start bolstering their position for long term success? How can they insure that their business will be relevant in the years to come? The answer is simple but takes a proactive mindset, dedicated hard work, and some solid consistent practices. And I’m not talking about 30 days of hard work…I’m talking about years of fine tuning and building that will require vision and foresight to accomplish.
So here it is….CONTENT CREATION is important now, but will become absolutely essential for many many small to medium sized businesses to survive. It’s already defining companies from good to great. Think about it. Pick most any business. Let’s use a garage door repair company for example called ABC Garage Install and Repair. ABC Garage has been in business for over 30 years and has a solid referral base, but no online presence other than a cheesy website that they put up 8 years ago because they were told they had to. This new company just opened up in town XYZ Garage and they offer the same exact services, but they need to crack the market and gain new clients. So on top of providing excellent service and competitive prices, they invest in their online presence. They create Social Media Accounts with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They consistently post branded content and answer any questions that their growing followers pose. They offer promotions through social media to their fans and they build their email database to keep in close contact with customers and prospects. Business starts to pick up and they are poised and known in the community through their social media. Now they feel the power of connectivity they are able to garnish and start to create YouTube Videos on how to maintain and make small fixes to garages or do some product reviews or get some of their customers to give testimonials on the YouTube Channel they’ve created. After 2 years of doing this, they have a library of quality videos that are of high value to the online community. They’ve consistently put in the work to create their brand and value. Soon all of ABC’s customers have forgotten about them because there’s no presence online and they go belly up. You can apply this same scenario to attorneys, contractors, plumbers, restaurants, or local shops and get the same end game. Sad, but this is the way it’s going. This is my cardboard sign to small businesses stating “The End is near.”
The toughest part is most small businesses can’t afford high end ad agencies and don’t actually have the time to invest in managing all the variables of online marketing. It’s a full time job to manage the content and another full time job to actually create original content. That’s were MediTamer comes in. We partner up with businesses to help them succeed online. We feel we’re the best at what we do and actually have the reporting and stats to prove it. That being said, if you’re run a business and you aren’t focused on this part of your operation…either get on it or hire someone to help you with it. A few years from now when you start to see competitors in your market and industry dying off while you’re still thriving….you’ll be praising the good Lord that you did.
Any business that isn’t taking their online identity seriously is in jeopardy of losing their business in the not so distant future. In a couple years you won’t be able to play catch-up with all the visionary businesses that actually see the writing on the wall now. If you own a small to medium sized business and either can’t afford a big ad agency to handle your online presence or you don’t have the time to manage it yourself…you need to hire someone. Focus on your business while simultaneously building your library of online content and creating connections with consumers or face the real threat of extinction.
Dave Revere is the creative director at MediaTamer, a Southern California local online marketing company that utilizes the latest technologies and proven proprietary strategies insuring small to medium sized businesses are able to succeed online. www.mediatamer.com