1. You are out of date without it & can look old fashioned to new customers

I won’t name any names – you know who you are! And I get it – it’s tough to spend time & money p, what doesn’t appear to be core to the company’s mission. However, the world we live in EXPECTS a high-quality image to marry with the high-quality product or service that you provide. Its like people turning up at the bank to meet the manager but he or she is dressed in rags, smelled bad & grunted at you – I think you would leave quickly & spread the word amongst your colleagues!

2. Your name or brand is not being represented on the worlds largest advertising medium

You are missing out and soi s your potential customer! Let's face it, the better the quality of suppliers' goods, services & brand the more it pushes the quality of that market higher. It means you are able to help to drive better value for customers, create a great industry image, etc.

3. Without a website you are like a shop with no windows or doors!

Yep – you have your current customers but without a digital presence, you are invisible to a mass of potential customers. In my experience, the companies (both large & small) that get the importance of this fact, and invests time & money into it end up reaping the rewards in terms of higher profitability, better brand awareness & respect from competitors.

4. You are missing out on potential profitability & growth into new customers & markets

This only confirms what the other points are saying – don’t leave it too long to repair this hole in your business. It's also easy to measure your return on investment.

5. Your competitors are getting themselves online

As time goes on & new people come into your industry, competitors will use this area to gain an advantage over those who have not invested in it!

So the answer to this? You don’t need to spend a fortune in this area, just ensure that you get the basics right & create a positive & responsive presence on the web. So my basic 5 point plan would be :

6. Understand the technology & how the digital economy works for small businesses like yours so that you can be clear what you want & need

You don’t have to be a complete expert but by understanding how it works & how it can benefit you, it will enable you to justify the time & expense of investing.

7. Start with a website – its the solid base to draw your customers in & create a compelling reason to purchase from your company

It's simple & relatively cheap to create & continue to improve so that you remain relevant to your customers. Remember that the more complex the site, the higher the cost in terms of investment of time & money.

8. Realise that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is simple to maximise – you just need some simple rules & a disciplined approach

Some companies make it appear like dark magic but in truth by following some simple rules then you can be well represented on the search engines like Google & MSN without spending thousands to SEO companies.

9. You can build a great relationship with your current & potential customers online

This is the beauty of social media – it makes you instantly available to your customers & can build a good relationship online with current & potential customers. There are some great examples of brands developing a dialogue with their customers that they can prove actually helps people to decide to purchase their product or service.

10. It will make you money, broaden your customer base & reduce the risk on your business

This is key – you will not only benefit your balance sheet, you will also have greater authority & strength when looking for investors, business partners & larger companies looking at your sustainability as a business!

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