It’s Small Business Week and there is plenty to do, tradeshows, conferences, seminars and networking. I’ve enjoyed attending several events so far, most notably, Markham Small Business Forum and Enterprise Toronto Small Business Forum.
At the Markham Convergence Centre, there was a great Panel of Entrepreneurs focused on start-ups and micro-biz called: “Getting Out of the Basement”. The panel included Louie Belcastro, President of The Classic Cuisine; Mike Holmes, President of The Cleaning Guy; and Winston Stewart, Director of Operations for Wincon Security. They told some great genuine stories of how they built their business from scratch and how they made the leap from “dining-room table” to the boardroom table. The common theme here was drive and perseverance; the core of entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, there was some major life event that motivated them and helped them make the decision to be an entrepreneur. It was very inspiring and insightful.
What else I found interesting was the fact that they funded their respective businesses early on with only family seed money. None of them reached out to the banks until, at earliest, 7 years into operations!
At the Metro Convention Centre, the Enterprise Toronto Small Business Forum was buzzing! Always a great show for start-ups and micro-businesses looking to get some great and FREE information on growing your business. I especially appreciated the seminar on building an online strategy for your small business. Marie confirmed the importance of a web strategy in today’s world and continued to shape her presentation around creating a strong website identity and presence.
Speaking of website identity and presence… these two terms seem to be used interchangeably by many entrepreneurs when the topic of Internet marketing arises, which should not be the case; I’m often asked this question during my Internet marketing seminars. I believe this confusion is what regularly misleads a small business Internet marketing strategy and as a result, creates minimal return for your small business Internet marketing strategy.
In general, an identity is who you are. More specifically, as it pertains to your small business, what does your business represents; arguably, your brand. Your presence is where your business exists outside of your identity, your image or how the rest of the world sees you.
Bringing it back to your Internet marketing strategy, your web identity IS your website. Your web presence is where you choose to exist in the ever growing world of social media and web marketing to tell consumers: “Hey! This is who I am, come and check me out!” You can have a web identity without a web presence (your success will be debatable) but you can’t have a web presence without a web identity. That is, creating a Facebook account is just not enough.
In the end, find out where your target market is and this will determine where you should establish a web presence; but it is your web identity, your website, that will help the consumer understand who you are, build the trust and ultimately, purchase your product or service.
Your website is your 7-24-365 sales “person” who never goes to sleep – it’s your online identity, so, be sure to treat it with care!
Real Growth for Real Business.
Reality Business Consulting (www.realityconsulting.ca) is a Toronto Internet Marketing Company who helps your business find customers and keep customers. We use sound and proven marketing principles to create a profitable online brand for your business by developing a high-quality and SEO-friendly WordPress website at the core of your online marketing strategy.
I am George Giantsopoulos, an accomplished entrepreneur and Principle of Reality Business Consulting. If you are searching for a team of knowledgeable and proven marketing professionals to grow your business, contact me for a complimentary consultation.