Too Much Tech!

We’ve all seen the hoarders on TV.

A few years back there was a freak show epidemic on Channel 4.

Sympathetically told stories of good people who’ve are stuck with terrible conditions: the man with no skin, the woman with a second head that hates her – you get the picture. Amongst the litany of unlucky individuals there were the hoarders.

From the outside there were relatively normal people. A little rough round the edges or perhaps a touch edgy, but not really that strange – until you step inside their homes. The middle class presenter of the show tip toes into the apartment of the poor individual and then spends the next hour of the program attempting to hide their shocked sensibilities.

Cardboard boxes, stuffed and stacked to the ceiling, threaten to crush the camera crew whilst the occupant crawls through make-shift tunnel systems, underneath the detritus of his life that he’s accumulated over the years, unwittingly building the mountain of tat, that now threatens to become his mausoleum.

As the dirty, dishevelled individual talks in front of the camera – trying to explain how the breakdown of his marriage and loss of custody of his kids really have nothing to do with the hundreds of children’s toys and women’s dresses, that have built the foundation of his crummy fortress of solitude, he starts to cry. Within an hour of well edited television, he confronts his problems, gets a professional organiser and declutterer over and the place is spick and span: happy endings all round!

kitchen-appliances

I recently had a team of professionals around to sort out the sorry state that is my house.

I’ve not had a bad year, I’m yet to be divorced by my non-existent wife, or separated from my fictional children – I just love buying stuff.

It’s simply really. Once you get to a certain age, and if you’re fortunate enough to own a home (or be on the way to paying one off) then you’ll find that you have a bit of expendable income on your hands. Now, for a man who’s spent a large portion of his life as a penniless student, the notion of being able to just spend cash with no thought of the consequences was like walking into a dream.

Suddenly all the useless middle-class gadgets, that I’d watched my friends buy over the years, were within my reach. A walk through John Lewis was no longer a useless trek through a swamp of consumer electronics that were out of my reach. Every item was within my price range and no item was too outrageous. Of course there was no way that I was going to use all of them – who was I kidding?

bread-maker

Bread makers are fun to have, but they’re also really big.

Storing them in your kitchen, when you’re not using them is just a waste of space – so it goes into the garage. Although you might have loved Great British Bake Off when it was on, it turns out that your lust for baking mysteriously disappeared after the season finale – that can slot in next to the juicer, smoother and espresso machine.

If you were feeling even slightly entrepreneurial, you could open your own cafe – but you don’t, you stack one piece of expensive tech onto another – until the only option is to call in a professional to sort out the mess.

OK, so maybe I wasn’t crawling through tunnels built of my own sadness. However, I was a little sad to see the ice-cream maker go – I was looking forward to using that.

Do I Really Need An Online Presence?

Your small business has strong margins, you’re doing well – do you really need internet marketing?

baby-confused

I’m going to tell you the same thing I told my Dad.

My old man’s been a plumber for the best part of three decades. He’s made a name for himself through being reliable, honest and hard-working – qualities I’ve always admire and aspired to embody.

He’s used the same 3 square inches of newspaper to advertise his one-man business for the last 30 years or so and has rarely struggled for business. So, I wasn’t surprised when, a few months ago, he asked me if he should consider getting a website to represent his business online.

Considering my trade, I was surprised that he asked me in the first place.

Regardless of the trade, business or service that you provide – having a website and slew of social media handles is compulsory to running any enterprise in the 21st Century. So where should you begin?


Website

web-design

The first step in taking your business into the online realm is to get yourself a website sorted.

You can guarantee, whether you’re a plumber, like my Dad, or even a High Street Butchers, your competitors will already have their own online store fronts. You have to consider the internet as a whole new market in which to compete, getting a professionally built, modern website built is the first thing you do to get your business on the map.

On-Site Optimisation

seo

Speaking of maps, you’ll want to make sure that your business appears on Google’s ever popular service.

This kind of work is called Local SEO (Search Engine Optmisation) and you’ll, more than likely, need to hire some professionals to do this for your. Luckily, it’s work that can be done relatively cheaply and there are dozens of companies competing within each city (just try searching ‘SEO Agency in Liverpool‘ in to Google and see how many companies pop up!) to grab up clients.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

ppc

Once you’re on the phone to an Internet Marketing Agency, you can have a think about whether you’d like to invest in Pay-per-click advertising or not.

Google owns the online AdWords game and it can be a bewildering world if you’re not aware of how it works. It’s much easier to get someone else to manage the account for you – so you can make sure your site gets the best coverage and the cheapest price.

Social Media

social-feed

Lastly, grabbing Social Media accounts for your business is a no-brainer. They’re all absolutely free to setup and you can start reaping the dividends of increased exposure almost immediately.

There are companies or individuals who can manage your social streams, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – alternatively, there’s a few useful Apps and Programs that can schedule your posts for you, so you’re not constantly on your phone. Regardless of how mundane or standard you might feel your business is, you can inject a sense of personality and fun into your Social Media feeds easily by simply sharing videos and pictures.

So in answer to your question: yes. Yes Рyour business should have an online presence.

The costs of maintaining a website are low and your business will be more prosperous as a result of staying in the technological loop.