Actually, I know you are paying for the success of your competition but the good news is that you’re not alone.
Welcome to the world of classified websites. I cannot name those websites but you know them. You have your business listed there and you pay them every month or every year. You used to get calls from buyers through them but now those calls are less and less. If you’re a restaurant then you are paying as much as 25% of your total income.
Coming up in this article:
- It makes sense to invest in own online brand than depending on someone else.
- Just 1% of the local searches for your business can give you lots of customers.
- You need a clear strategy to capture the online inquiries and get in front of them.
- Do not get used by classified websites as a slave. Use them as a tool for your business strategy.
One might ask, so what? We are getting good business from them.
But ask yourself this “Aren’t you becoming dependant on them to get customers in a world where every information is on everyone’s phone?”
If you can find the distance between sun and earth a click or tap, why can’t your customers find you without using a classified website?
Because they want you to keep paying them to get customers. It’s a good business model for them. You create a business, you serve the client, you provide after-sales support to your customers and you still give them a percent of your earning.
Ask yourself, do they come to rescue you when you are being scolded by an angry customer?
One of the biggest problems with classified websites is that you don’t have any control over how you appear to a customer.
When someone searches on that website, he sees something like this…
Can you see the problem here?
You are now one of many businesses who are same as you. It doesn’t matter if your business is 45 years old or if you have a reputation for being most affordable in your area. You are same as the others.
Its a matter of pure luck that someone will click on C Tyre shop instead of A Tyre shop.
What if you’re offering a discount this month? You can’t tell about that on a classified website to attract more customers.
It is dangerous to lose the identity of your business. Because now you are not “Batra Properties” or “Ganesh Bakers”, you are just one shop that customer found on a classified website.
So next time when he will need something again, he/she will go to that website again.
You see the problem now?
Today, it is very affordable to have an online front for your business. It can be a website, an app or a simple Google My Business listing in a way that drives sales.
Driving sale or footfall to your business should be the focus of your online profile.
Let’s see how much sales you can drive?
We will keep using tyre shop as a business example in this post. Below is the data from Google for the search of the word “tyre shop in delhi” for the month of March 2018.
16,450 people searched for a tyre shop in Delhi which means 548 searches per day! Would you like to get just 1% of these searches? 164 new customers every month! Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
Why not just open a new tab and search for a tyre shop in Delhi (you can replace your city with Delhi) and I can predict the search results right now!
Top of the search result page will show 3 listing from Google My Business, then there will be 4-5 links of “Classified Websites” that you are paying and then there will be website links of tyre manufacturers who do not sell to the customers directly. Imagine if you have your website there where a visitor can get information about tyre type, price, brand and latest offers. Your website will have an edge because tyre manufacturer’s website won’t sell him but you will. You can give him the option to purchase online and get installed at his/her convenient time.
This is just one example of how much opportunities you can catch with a proper and affordable online presence.
But wait, some of you might have a website and facebook page too and you must be thinking that I have gone nuts, it doesn’t work.
I will give you a quick and obvious example. Take a close look at the previous image again. Can you see that out of 16,450 searches for “tyre shop in delhi”, 12,047 of them are coming from mobile? Its more than 73% and this percentage is increasing every month! Here is the proof.
This figure was just 53.80% in April 2016.
So, you can see that there are people who are searching for local businesses and services in their cities and what they are finding are links to the classified websites because you are paying them.
You might think, “well, okay what else am I missing by not having my own online identity?”
I don’t know!
So I asked myself what do these websites’ get?
And the answer is their visitor’s data. They gather the data about visitors’ interest, exactly what phrases they use to search for specific service/product, what time of the day most users take action, what is the age group of visitors that take most action and so on. There can be thousands of data points that can be created for a specific business and then used to make most sales. They can keep mobile numbers, birthdays, social media profile’ information and so on of their visitors and then use it to send them offers.
You are missing all that information and opportunities.
If you are still with me, then you want to take action. You want to spend money on your own business.
Internet technologies have made it possible to create a personalized strategy for small & medium businesses with the very small budget. You don’t need to put billboards in the whole city and pray for the customers to call.
You can now target exactly the type of people who are interested in what you are selling and only pay for the results.
However, it’s not a one day task. Anything worth doing takes time. Those classified websites have spent crores of rupees and years of labor to built a network and you cannot expect to beat them in a week or a month.
But you don’t need to beat them. You just need to make more sales.
It is not an impossible task. It is not a very costly affair either. Your first step must be to stop following others.
Do not pay to classified websites because everyone else is doing it. Stop for a day and think what makes your business unique, what are your strength and what is it that is stopping you from being the market leader. That’s how you can come up with a plan to beat your competition and make your small and medium business in India really really successful.
Classified websites are using your business to gather data about customer behavior and then use that to serve ads on behalf of the businesses who are ready to pay more than you.
You are actually paying to make your competition stronger. To become really successful, you have to start making your own business strategy. You have to turn yourself into a brand so that these classified websites will come to you to get recognition and customers.
If you have the willpower to boost your sales and establish yourself as a brand in your industry we can help you.
We create focused marketing strategies for the small & medium businesses of India that goes beyond a website and social media profiles.
We only work for small & medium Indian businesses so that we can understand their problems better than everyone else and find solutions before everyone else.
Please contact us by filling the form below or call us at +91 8282824232 today to discuss what can we do for your business.
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