The World Wide Web is a large part of everyday life. Family members and friends are using it to stay in touch across cities and states. People are making connections with others who have shared interest all around the world online. News, sports and entertainment updates are delivered in real time simultaneously through many different networks.

The internet has also become increasingly important to today’s business environment. New company websites and business social media pages and profiles are popping up every day. Almost every business, no matter how big or how small they are, has an online presence.

Here are a few important reasons why your business needs to be on the internet:

1. Constant availability

Having your business online means that you are available for new and existing customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if your physical location isn’t open every hour of every day, having an online store or other internet availability gives you more opportunities to make money and increase profits. You can even set up your system to respond automatically to customer orders and emails.

2. It’s inexpensive

Having a professional website isn’t that difficult. You can easily create a great site yourself, or you can outsource the design and production. You can also build your online visibility with social media marketing pages for free on most of the major platforms. You can also create blogs for free or for a very minimal cost to draw more traffic to your site.

3. You can target a larger audience

Once you’ve established an online presence, there is literally no limit to your customer base. You can reach target markets for your products and services around the county, around the state and even around the world. Adding customer reviews and testimonials to your site can also help drive traffic and create interest from more potential customers.

4. Improved customer service

With an online store, you can interact with your customers more often and more effectively. Customers can place and track online orders, and your company can follow up with them after the sale. By offering the most information available and offering discounts, incentives or responding with surveys, your business can help keep your product lines at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

5. You can conduct business anywhere

Having an online business frees you from the restrictions of having just a brick and mortar store. You can conduct transactions from anywhere in the world! There may be certain restrictions, regulations, and laws from country to country, but as long as you are aware of and comply with them, the potential for increased sales and an expanded customer base are exponential.

6. Standing out above the rest

Having a great online and social media marketing strategy is essential for being known by your clients as one of the best companies in your industry. The more active you are and the higher up you appear on online searches, the more reputable your company will appear in the minds of the people in your target audience.

7. It builds strong relationships

Having a good network of local loyal customers is great, but in the technology age, most business isn’t limited to just your immediate area. More and more companies have the majority of their sales coming from clients in different states and different countries. Building personal relationships with all of your customers, no matter where they are located, create brand loyalty and a sense of trust. People will keep coming back to your company because they respect your values and what you have to offer. They will also usually refer your business to friends, family, and neighbors. Having that personal rapport is something unique that none of your competitors can match.

These are just some of the many reasons why companies need to be on the internet. Online markets continue to grow every day, and there are more and more potential customers just waiting to be found. Today’s business economy is constantly changing, and to survive, businesses need to adapt. Being online is a powerful and important reason why many companies continue to thrive.