Small businesses are not fully leveraging available online tools for marketing and growing their businesses, according to a survey conducted by Citibank. Citibank surveyed 552 small businesses across the U.S. in March, and they found that:
- 37% haven’t used a website for marketing their businesses
- 84% haven’t used ecommerce to sell or market their products
- 62% are not using basic email marketing
- 67% have not used search engine optimization
- 65% have not placed online ads to market their businesses
- 81% have not used social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
The results of the survey do not surprise me. Unlike big businesses that can create new divisions for developing and managing the online segment of their businesses, small business owners are hindered by a number of factors:
- Lack of resources, including both manpower and capital, to engage in additional activities on the web
- Age of the business owner and members of their team. The study actually found that small business executives 45 years old and older are less likely to use online tools than younger business owners.
- Lacks know-how and understanding as to how these online tools can contribute to the bottomline.
- Inflexibility and fear in moving to unknown territories. They are comfortable with what they have been doing through they years, and they are not willing to venture to unknown terrorities.
- Fear of innovation.
- Lack of knowledge as to how to engage in these online marketing tools
There are many small business owners who would want to use social media to market their businesses. Unfortunately, they don’t have a clue as to how to use Twitter to market their businesses. They don’t know how to tweet and how to increase the number of followers.
It does take time to learn new ways to grow and market a business. It is important for small businesses to be less rigid focusing only to what they know and been doing for years. There are loads of opportunities on the Web to grow a small business and the small business owner needs to spot and grab these opportunities. Yes, it takes time and resources to implement and understand SEO, online advertising, email marketing, and social marketing – but small businesses need to use these tools to compete well in the marketplace and grow their businesses.