70%. This isn’t how often I win at video games or the percentage of cheeseburgers in the American diet. No this number is much more important than that.
If you own a small business, the number 70% should always be top of mind. Because it’s the number of businesses that fail in the first 10 years.
You’ve probably worried about your business failing. After riding the high of initial success, you may start to wonder whether you can really keep the money rolling in month after month. These fears can be valuable, but only if they motivate you to act and ensure your business is set up for success.
One antidote to these fears is building a strong digital presence. In fact, it’s a tool that can improve your chances of closing 70–80% of your sales. But, we’ll talk about that in a minute.
What is a digital presence?
Put simply, it’s the space that your brand owns online. This may include elements such as:
- Your website
- Your company social media accounts
- Your listings in business directories (YP and Google My Business)
- The searches that your website shows up for
- Any paid media or pay-per-click advertising
- Any organizations, events, and publications that you actively participate in
These elements put together form the basis for your digital presence. This is good and bad.
It’s good because there are a wealth of tools available to you. This is one of the easiest times in history to reach a wide audience with your services. But, there’s also a problem with having a digital presence.
A digital presence is so vast and far-reaching that it can be nearly impossible to keep it consistent and effective.
Why your small business needs a digital presence to survive
Let’s go back to the numbers for a minute. We said that 70% of small businesses fail within the first 10 years. Why does this happen?
A shocking 82% fail due to cash flow problems. This can mean a lot of things, but generally it means they aren’t making enough sales, they aren’t charging the right price, and their customers don’t value the service enough to pay on time.
You may have already felt the stress of a client who pays a few weeks late. Being stuck scrambling to make payroll or not paying yourself for weeks at a time. It’s not fun and you need to put a stop to it.
How does a digital marketing presence help in these cases?
Research tells us that 70–80% of potential customers research a business online before ever visiting their location, reaching out, or buying from them. This means that 70–80% of your potential sales are being directly influenced by your digital presence.
What will they think if they can’t find your business on Google? Or if they only find terrible reviews or no reviews? Or if your message is inconsistent or incomplete?
These things that seem little and trivial from the point of view of a business owner, are do or die for your prospective customers. If your digital presence isn’t set up properly, then you could miss out on up to 80% of your potential sales. This is a cash flow problem that you can’t ignore.
Start with your website and build out
Your website is the most critical element in your digital presence. It’s where potential customers will go to see if you’re legit, if they can afford you, and if they really need what you have to offer.
By starting with a strong website, you’ll have an easier time making sales and finishing your online footprint.
To start building your own digital presence, try following this checklist:
- Build a website with a modern, clean design. Make sure to build it on technology like WordPress that can scale with your business as it grows.
- Define the core message that your business will share across its digital presence. I’m a big fan of using the StoryBrand framework to do this.
- Identify the websites that your business needs to show up on. For B2B companies this may be LinkedIn, while B2C may favor Facebook.
- Create a content strategy that draws the right prospects into your business and gives you an active digital presence.
With these key strategies in place, you can start to complete the other parts of your digital presence. Doing so will increase your sales, cashflow, and resilience, so that your business can continue growing.