Take The Plunge : Essentials For Getting Your Business Online

With almost half of small to medium businesses still to get online, the need to know the basics of this process still remain. Especially, as having an online presence can do wonders for your business including increasing sales and profits. As well as provide a platform for brand exposure. So read on to find out the key things any SME needs to know when they take the plunge to go online.

You need a stellar website


Image source

Your website is the most important thing to get right when you decide to put your business online. Static catalogue pages and large chunks of unreadable text just aren't going to work here, though.  You need your site to be clear, professional looking and user-friendly. After all, it's much easier to get online to look at a product that it is to trudge all the way to the shops. So you will want to make the most of this by providing the most pleasant experience for your users that will allow them to find what they need quickly, and keep them coming back time and time again.



User-friendly sites are ones that look pleasing, are easy to navigate and have interactive features. The latter can include shops, games, and even chat boxes that allow customers to ask questions and be reassured about their purchase. Something that can help you close more sales and stop site bounce as well.  

With this in mind it, if the budget allows, it is worth investing in a specially designed site. Rather than a template model, where you just add your own details.

Get to know your CMS

Your CMS or content management system is the back end of your website. The part that you access to load up all of your product and company data. The customers never see it, but it is still vital for you to know it inside and out. This is because what you enter in the CMS side is what ends up being displayed to your site visitors, something that you will want to be spot on.

So take some time to train yourself and your other employees on how your CMS works. Including how to change things, and how to take things down if your stock runs out. As this is essential to getting your business online successfully.

You need to have a store and electronic payment methods

Something else that is crucial if you are setting up an online presence is that you offer the opportunity to your customers to actually be able to view, research, and purchase your product at your site.


Image link

To do the latter, you will need to have access to electronic payment methods like credit card processing, Apple pay, or Paypal.

Luckily, these things aren't too hard to set up, and some ecommerce host options even come with them already integrated. Making it easy for you to start making sales and taking payment from this new revenue stream.

You need to be aware of data security


Picture link

Something that can put a lot of small businesses off setting up their own online presence is the risk to security that this may pose. Now, it's true that there are hackers and phishers and scam artists out there. Some of which may end up targeting your business, something that does sound pretty terrifying. Especially, for those that are less than confident in their IT knowledge and skills.

However, you shouldn't let it put you off, as there are plenty of data security measures that you can take to make to minimise this risk and make your new online revenue stream as safe as possible.  

These include using a data storage provider that is ISO 27001 accredited and that has up to the minute methods of defending your precious information. Meaning you don't have to be a data security expert to protect your vital info and be safe online.

Images are important

Lastly, when getting your business online, you must remember the power that a simple image can have. Remember a website is a great place to display images of your products, and other visuals relevant to your brand.


Image link

However, to do this effectively, it is best if you stay away from stock images and photos. Why? Well, stock images, especially free ones are going to be used by a lot of other companies making it hard for your content to stand out. That is why it's best to get some professional shots of your product and team done to display on your website as this provides a much more authentic image for your brand.