Scott Blau, one of our dedicated volunteers, shares his thoughts on what the internet means for new businesses.
"As a business mentor for The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, one of the most common questions I get asked is ‘what can I do to promote my new business?’
"During my time volunteering with Enterprise, I’ve worked with young people who have started all kinds of successful businesses, from health and beauty to gardening to food and drink. As diverse as all these businesses were, they all shared the same challenge; how to create and maintain an effective presence online.
"If you were looking for a trendy t-shirt in the days before the internet, you might look for verbal recommendations from friends. Now you’re more likely to use your phone or computer to do that for you. That’s why it’s so important to make creating an online presence for your business a top priority.
"I often tell the young people I work with that their business prospects will greatly improve if their business appears high up in the results on online search engines. Search engine optimization or ‘SEO’ can be a daunting task but with the right help (a quick online search will bring up lots of free online tools that can help) you can create an ongoing promotional campaign to increase your client base.
"With over a billion users, Facebook can be a great way to do this. Creating a Facebook page for your business is free and simple. Make it lively and interesting to get lots of ‘likes’ - this will help to spread the word about your business.
"Most of all, it’s important to remember that successful web and social media marketing never stops! You can always do more and you can always get better results.
"I’ve seen first-hand that anyone can have a great business idea. With help from The Trust, that idea can become a reality."