In the old days, word of mouth was enough to sustain a small business owner in any community. An entrepreneur could run a small Mom and Pop shop and thrive because people knew the owners, respected them, and gave them business.
These days? It’s a sheer struggle for small businesses to survive regardless of location if they have no online business presence. Let’s take one area to use as an example. According to the Duluth News Tribune, a whopping 59% of small businesses had no online web presence.
That beats the national average of 63%, but not by much. So these owners simply look for a good physical location in their town and hope that people driving by will stop in, or see a billboard in traffic, or have someone make a good recommendation.
Problem is, people don’t ask others for recommendations much anymore – they turn to the web! According to the Duluth News Tribune, 93% of buyers turn to the Internet when they want to look for products and services – and it’s not just to buy over the ‘net, either!
Even if their plan is to shop locally, people go online, search for a service provider or store, and make plans to go to that location based on information they find online, including consumer reviews.
Google wants small business owners to get onboard, and they actually went to Duluth recently to host a free one day seminar that could change the mindset of many offline business owners.
As an Internet Marketer looking to fill a void, you might want to go the route of Google representatives. Find a town or city with a lack of small business online entities and do the following:
1. Inform them of what it means to have an online presence.
Not everyone is going to understand – especially if they’re not proficient with the Internet. Tell them what their options are, from Facebook Fan Pages for bakeries to blogs to a small website that enables customers to get information online before they make a trip to their place of business.
2. Explain to them how it can have a positive effect on their business.
You’re going to need cold, hard stats if you want to impress business owners who are already busy. You could take a couple of guinea pigs and offer your services free of charge in exchange for them letting you use their business as an example of success in creating an online presence.
3. Teach them how to get online and give it a test drive.
Many will want to have control from the very beginning, so if they want to blog, but don’t know how – teach them! Or, offer to sell them a readymade website with instructions on how to manage it once you turn it over to them.
In an economic disaster, like we’re facing now, it’s the perfect time to help teach others how to thrive and grow their wealth through something that’s an easy and affordable solution. You have the ability to change lives right now.