It is undeniable that the modern world is shifting from the traditional brick and mortar shops into the online world. Gone are the days wherein people are hesitant to buy something online. With the rise of eCommerce websites such as Amazon, Lazada, Zalora, Shopee and others, the impact of having an online presence for your business has never been more critical.
What Are Small-Medium Enterprises?
A small to medium business, or SME, are businesses that are usually starting businesses that have few employees. A small business typically has less than a hundred employees, while medium businesses have 100 to less than a thousand employees. Different definitions of SME in Malaysia usually revolve around the number of employees, which determines the scale of your company.
The world of SME is very different from giant corporations as their resources are often limited. For example; finance, talents, technology, tools and data. One of the main goals of SME is to have more customers and expand its business. They typically focus on having a stable income first over creating innovations.
Whether your SME status is a Startup, Micro, Small or Medium, the right tactics to move your business online must be the spearhead or else risk getting into the cluttered marketplace.
Things You Need To Build Your Online Brand
A logo does not only differentiate your website from your competitors; it also speaks a lot about your business. As they say, a single picture speaks a thousand words. The colour scheme, design, fonts, icons used will be the defining factors of your business’s essence.
For example, people in the fashion industry uses colours to appeal to the right customers. For younger and more girly products, they use pastel colours, usually in pink, to demonstrate the femininity of their company. On the other hand, designer logos that advertises the elegance of their clothes use minimalistic black and white schemes.
To put it simply, a logo is also a symbol that represents the things that you will do that matters.
Try displaying your business with a Batman’s logo, this symbolises that your operations only start at night, but you’ll probably end up in Dr Jason Leong favourite script first.
Have you seen an advertisement for fast food chains and immediately know which fast food restaurant is based on the design of the ads itself? That is the result of having a solid corporate identity. This involves having the right colour scheme for your advertisements, identifying logos and fonts to differentiate you from other businesses, and even the tone of your press releases.
You may also need to have a Corporate Identity Kit to maintain the consistency of your brand tone and it also portray sterling management skills.
Bringing your business online is the single most crucial component of competing in the modern marketplace. Nearly a whopping 90% of people find a local business by searching the internet. Yet, only 20% of small business owners have set up their website. For a lot of SME, this is a huge missed opportunity in getting more customers and generate more businesses.
It becomes the new norm now that, for any businesses who have no presence online is not viable to work with anymore. The credibility is not as strong as much as there are no social proofs about your business.
One of the most important factors of a successful business website is your domain name. While a lot of businesses get the available domain that relates to their company and name, you can use your domain name to optimize your website for search engines ranking. By using the right keywords, search engines will prioritize your website over others.
Getting the right domain name also gives you a better advantage in SEO. One business must also harness the power of Search Engine Optimisation in order to achieve organic sales.
Aside from the domain name, your website should also have a good web design to attract your customers into buying your products or availing your services. 38% of internet users will exit a website that has a poor content layout or is unattractive.
Even if you dominate the search engine results page, if your website does not improve its design or optimized for mobile and tablet use, you still might lose a few customers.
There is a big difference between having a website versus having a website that has a design. Ultimately, it all comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose your business to the best thing that you’ve done and every human being should enjoy the best of what you’re doing.
Ecommerce Facility Website
The difference of an SME website, as opposed to a standard website, is the presence of an eCommerce facility that makes it easier for your customers to buy products from you. If you are planning to automate sales online, it is highly advisable to incorporate your eCommerce page into your website itself.
With that method, you can easily direct your customers on your FAQs page to quickly answer specific questions they might have regarding the payment and shipping process. This applies for both products or services business too.
If all these sounds too much for you, you’re not alone. Big companies usually have their inhouse marketing team that deals with all the mentioned above to create a strong online presence. However, small to medium business owners do not have the same resources to help them.
Aside from having to manage the day-to-day activities of the business that includes shipping of raw materials and customer service, there are just too many things that a business owner is doing.
But it is undeniable how having a strong brand presence can help your business boost its income. Lucky for business owners out there, you can hire branding companies that can help you build your business’s brand.
What Is A Branding Company
For SME owners, hiring a branding company can give you a ton of advantages over your competitors. With a team of experts to handle your brand, from logo to website, you will no longer worry about being creative and spending too much time building your online presence.
Defining your brand can be difficult, especially since you need to balance your business’s identity along with what the customers needs.
Benefits Of Engaging A Branding Company
1. Easily attract the right customers
One of the most essential benefits of having a good logo is that it can bring you closer to the audience who are more likely to buy from you. With the right logo and corporate identity design, you can easily convert a casual viewer to a buying customer.
2. Being unique in the online world
You will inevitably have a lot of competitors in the online world. The fact that you can reach to a broader customer base also means you are competing against more businesses. With a powerful website, you can move your business from a nobody to being the top in your local area.
3. Easier transaction process
With online payment solutions such as PayPal and Stripe, it will be easier for SME to manage online transactions without the risk of getting scammed by your customers. With this, you do not have to spend too much time in recording your income and expenses as you can quickly get the numbers from your computer.
4. Avoid redoing everything
While you can do everything yourself, once you are a more significant business, you will see the importance of having a strong brand. However, you might lose a lot of customers when you rebrand your company later.
This is because people who are already familiar with your business will be alienated from the new branding techniques you are using. Furthermore, it is more expensive to advertise the rebranding of your company compared to starting with the perfect branding from the beginning.
5. Head start against competitors
Since you already have a strong brand, you can quickly get the advantages of having a significant brand presence from the beginning and can increase your customer base in the beginning. This will make your business grow faster and get you a more sustainable income compared to having an inferior branding.
6. Hiring experts in the field
A lot of SME owners are overwhelmed with the daily tasks they have to face. That is why it is advantageous to hire experts to help you with your branding. With this method, you no longer have to teach yourself about the different and shifting marketing methods, and instead, get expert’s opinions on important branding factors that both speak your brand and also attract new customers.
Branding is an important factor as it can help you attract more customers and get a stable income. With it, you have the opportunity to level up your business like Super Mario Brothers. You will be delighted with just how far a branding company can accelerate and grow your business,
So back to the original title question, how soon you should start your online business?
The answer is: NOW