Problem Solver: How do you showcase your business online?
Q I run a restaurant and business is reasonably okay. I don't have a website or any social media presence. What are your thoughts with regard to investing time and money in this area?
FEARGAL SAYS: It is absolutely essential that you do!
With the advent of mobile phones and tablets customers' use of search facilities online has never been as big. If you don't have a presence online, I am certain you will lose opportunities to grow your brand.
Would you consider removing the name of your restaurant from over the door? Certainly not.
Not being online has a very similar effect and will leave you at a significant disadvantage.
I read somewhere recently that 50pc of searches done via mobile devices are for local goods and services. This is the very same customer base you are targeting.
It may not be necessary for you to be featured on all of the different online channels but I would regard a website as mandatory so that you can showcase your menus and get your potential customers to understand what your unique selling points are.
Facebook is about you having the ability to hold dialogue with your customers. To some degree photographs and images are increasingly becoming a way that many businesses communicate with their customers and as food is very visual, you should explore the merits of Instagram and Pinterest.
I have also heard from many businesses working in the food sector that there is a very large food community online.
I think in your case, it will be a question of which online channel you use as opposed to do you use an online channel at all.
Do you have a problem with your small business? Email Feargal at email@example.com