Your online presence in Port Charlotte is very important.
The other day, I was hunting for somebody who could thread my brows (which sounds scarier than it was). I was searching the day before I had to attend a fancy event. The first place, which was recommended to me by a friend, could not take me, as the lady was only in during the second half of the week, much to my dismay. What was I to do?
Charlotte County is a mainly agricultural and residential area, with the towns of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte located at the head of Charlotte Bay along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Punta Gorda has the character of a small port town while neighboring Port Charlotte is a large planned community. Both towns are quiet and residential with a substantial percentage of retirees and winter residents. Compared to other Gulf Coast cities they are not particularly touristy.
Local activities include boating and golf, and the more complete and culturally diverse city of Ft. Myers is 25 miles south. The area has some of the best job-growth expectations in the state. While hospital services are better than average, the area is lacking in other services as well as arts and entertainment amenities.
The terrain is level with residential areas close to water and agriculture mixed with cypress forests and swampland farther inland. The climate is subtropical with a strong Gulf influence. Summer temperatures are in the 80’s or low 90’s with humidity, some Gulf breezes, and frequent late-afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are very pleasant, with bright, sunny, relatively dry days and temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. Gulf hurricanes and tropical storms can bring heavy downpours, especially in late summer and fall.
I went to Google and typed in the appropriate search terms, holding my breath. Please, oh please, let something come up so I don’t look like a werewolf in all the event photos, I begged. The first result was the place I had already called, but the second I had never heard of before.
I clicked the website and quickly found an online booking option, which was great, as I can be a little phone shy. After checking the prices and the hours of operation online with a few simple clicks, I booked the appointment. I received an email verification minutes later and headed out to find the place–it looked like an apartment building.
Confused, I pulled out my phone, which verified that I had arrived at the correct location. I hopped up the steps to the second floor and, lo and behold, there was a sign for the shop. After going in, one of the first things the owner said was, “How did you find me today? Just curious.” Without really even thinking about it, I replied, “Oh, I just Googled you.”
No big deal for me, but bam! One Google search and that small business owner secured a new customer.
Why You Need an Online Presence
Here’s the point: having an online presence can make or break a business, especially for small business owners. Because I was able to find the website and all the product and service information effortlessly, I was happy to book an appointment. Further, I booked my appointment online, at a business I’d never heard about, in a building I’d never seen. That day, the owner secured a new customer that she wouldn’t have had otherwise, and most importantly, I didn’t have to look like Bigfoot for my event.
Thank goodness she had an up-to-date website, right? Having an online business isn’t only beneficial for you–it’s also one of the best things you can do for your consumers.
While it’s true that many small businesses don’t have a ton of resources or a lot of time to spend building an online presence, having no time is no problem. The actual website can be quite simple, and all it needs is a little sprucing up every now and again, including the aesthetics and the actual content. Setting up a few social media sites will help you to alert your clients and customers about updates, and even if you can only post once every couple of weeks, you’ll soon build authority online.