Imagine going to a store with brick walls all the way around so you couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enter the building to make a purchase. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d think the owner was crazy. Yet, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what businesses are doing when they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a Web site. How do businesses stay in business without a Web site? I don't think they can anymore.
I have a personal example of this short sightedness: I went online to search for my doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s phone number and the first thing listed was his divorce decree! Horrified, I called him to tell him about it. He thought he could make a phone call and have it removed. I had to explain how the Web worked and if he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a Web site soon, everyone would know that he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to pay for his daughterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s out of state college expensesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦(yep, I read it). Does he have a Web site yet? You guessed itÃ¢â‚¬Â¦nope. Why? Because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“difficult to take time out to get one made.Ã¢â‚¬Â He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand the power of the Internet and how much his decision NOT to have a Web site can hurt his business.
So, how does this doctor stay in business? Word of mouth and the yellow pagesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦or, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what he thinks. Online-Publishers.org, a not-for profit-that tracks these things, says the Internet dominates ALL other media during the purchase process. In fact, 48% of online users said their initial awareness of a business came from the Internet. Compare that to the 23% who said they knew about the business from word-of-mouth. Even stranger, our friend the doctor actually believes people still use the Yellow Pages!
So, I think the moral of this story is:
a) Ã¢â‚¬Å“Google yourself" so you know what comes up
b) if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a Web siteÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Get OneÃ¢â‚¬Â¦before everyone knows your divorce record.