More people search online than ever page through a phone book. If you want to increase your chances of business success, you need more than just a website; you need to have an online presence. Many businesses these days at least have a basic website showing their contact information. However, for a full online presence you want to have an inviting, easy to navigate website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

There are many reasons why you can’t afford not to be online. Here are five of them.

Anytime Access

When you have an online presence, you might go to sleep at 10 p.m., but your business will always keep the same hours your customers do. Not having 24-hour availability is like throwing money away. With an online presence, your customer can order or inquire anytime that the mood strikes. This will minimize the chances that their mood will pass before they have a chance to take action.

Reach Further and Wider

Having an online presence will greatly expand your reach to potential customers or clients. Without an online presence, you are limited to the number of customers who can physically get to your location; once you go online, the number of customers you can reach is almost beyond imagination. You also have improved technology to gather information on the customers who visit your business online.

Get Rated

The saying goes that no publicity is bad publicity, which some believe is not always true. However, having your company reviewed online is a proven business booster. A Harvard Business School study showed that there is a demonstrated increase in revenue when a business receives positive ratings on review sites similar to OpenTell.com. Local reviews online are beginning to take the place of more traditional methods of establishing and maintaining a good reputation.

Customer Service

Customer service can be more convenient and less time consuming with an online presence. Just a simple list of FAQ online can cut down significantly on time spent answering common questions.

Bypass Brick and Mortar Costs

Beyond just having an online version of your brick and mortar store, you can skip the bricks altogether in favor of pixels, which are significantly less expensive. You can avoid hefty start-up costs by keeping your business online entirely. Even just moving parts of your business online can save a lot of money.

Not having an online presence is not an option these days if you want your business to succeed.