Despite Australians being among the biggest users of digital technology in the world, just half of the country’s small businesses have an online presence, meaning commercial opportunities are passing them by.

We know there’s a perception amongst business owners that getting online will be costly, complicated and time consuming. But what if there was a simple way to help make sure opportunity knocks?

As part of the Be ‘That’ Business radio show, we spoke with Jae Hawkins, the general manager of the Wollongong Hellenic Club, who put her apprehension aside and embraced a new digital strategy to help her company flourish.

When Jae was approached for the position at the WHC earlier this year, the first thing she did was Google the company, but unfortunately the website was under construction at the time. This hit a chord with Jae; “I knew nothing about the club, so I couldn’t expect our customers to know either” she said.

Jae realised she needed to establish an online footprint immediately, but without any experience in web development, she didn’t know where to begin.

With the help of Telstra Online Essentials, Jae had a new website up and running within 48 hours, and new customers soon followed. Now, the club is taking bookings and function enquiries online, with its live entertainment and mezze platters proving especially popular with patrons.

Here’s why having an online presence is so important:

The first step to a sale

The National Online Retailers Association says almost 10% of retail sales are made online, but many other sales begin online with customers researching options before they make their final decision in store.

Connect and grow

As Jae discovered firsthand, an online presence is one of the most cost-effective and rewarding ways to start a conversation with new customers and grow a small business.

The barrier to entry is lower than ever

It’s understandable to feel intimidated and unsure about where to start with setting up your online presence. With Telstra Online Essentials, we can help you every step of the way.

Listen to our chat with Jay here:

For more on how to be ‘that’ business, visit Smarter Business.