Have you ever run into a situation where you looked up information for a business online, such as a phone number, only to find out later that the information was incorrect?
It has happened to almost everyone, and it can be a seriously frustrating situation. As someone who owns or manages a small business, the last thing you want to do is be the company that has bad information available.
Being successful as a brand means having accurate information available for clients, lenders, or anyone else who is interested in the products and services you offer, either as a partner or as a customer. However, before you jump in and start making changes to your small business information, you need to understand more about what it is, why it matters, and how the process works.
Defining small business information
There are many definitions for small business information, but in most cases, it is considered information about a business with fewer than 500 employees and less than $50,000,000 in sales. Many types of small business information can be used to gain additional insight into a company.
Dozens of pieces of information make up what we call “small business information.” This business information is all the publicly available data about a specific company. It encompasses everything from your business name, phone number, and physical address to industry, credit score, years in business, and company ownership.
This might all seem like pretty simple data – and it is. However, it’s also a crucial element of success for the average small business. Having inaccurate information on even a single platform can lead to problems and lower your chances of bringing on customers, partners, and lenders when needed.
There are also several types of information to be aware of. These include contact information, descriptive information, legal information, management information, and ownership information. Most important small business information will fall within one of these categories. Depending on who you happen to be in contact with, some will be more important than others in specific situations.
Business and contact information includes phone numbers, addresses, websites, names, and aliases and can help marketers and clients connect with a business and its employees. Firmographic data focuses on the business itself with things like the corporate structure, business industry, and date founded. Registration dates, states, and IDs are also used to determine whether a business is currently up and running.
To sum it up, small business information is all the crucial public data available about your organization. Inaccurate or unavailable information can have a negative impact on the business. When consumers, lenders, or other parties come across bad small business information, it can create problems for your business.
Statistics related to small business information
You do not have to take our word for any of the above information. Dozens of statistics show exactly how important accurate business information is. We’ll share a few here from Brightlocal that sum up some of the reasons you should be putting time and effort into ensuring all the information you list is accurate on every website, directory, and other pages.
- Over 65% of consumers say they would no longer visit a local business if they discovered inaccurate information on online directories.
- 93% of consumers state that they are frustrated when coming upon this incorrect information.
- A total of 80% of consumers have less trust in a business if it has inconsistent or incorrect business names or details online.
- In 2018, more than 70% of consumers had a bad experience based on the use of online small business information.
- Just under 35% of consumers would choose a competitor if the original business was unable to be found based on inaccurate online information.
- About 20% of consumers have gone to the wrong location based on bad online information.
- Twice as many people (40%) would stop looking for a business because of an inaccurate address found online.
- Almost 25% of consumers make a call to a business before visiting it when finding a business listing online.
- Consumers tend to blame the business rather than the site hosting small business information when an inaccurate listing is found.
Looking at all these statistics together shows just how crucial it is to provide the most accurate and updated information online. Not doing so could lead to losing customers who would otherwise be happy to take advantage of your expertise and knowledge.
Why inaccurate small business information is a massive problem
Incorrect, inconsistent, and incomplete information can be huge problems regarding online information and business listings. Some of the reasons for this can be gleaned from the statistics above. However, there are two significant reasons to remember when considering how much effort to put into having accurate small business information.
- Incorrect information can cause your entire business to have less credibility.
- Bad data about your company can cause you to lose potential customers.
As mentioned earlier, online small business information includes contact details, location addresses, operating hours, and more. Each of these is used to help customers. This data lets them reach you, connect with you, and decide whether or not to do business with you.
Let’s look at a quick example. Perhaps most of your small business information is accurate. However, one website lists the wrong address.
Customers are interested in what you sell, so they find that address and drive to the location. The problem is that your business cannot be found when they get there.
At this point, the customer is having a bad experience. They aren’t happy, and they may choose never to visit your location because of it.
This might only be one example, but there are dozens of others. Maybe a customer who sees you have a specific service online but then finds out it’s no longer available would be in the same position. These examples are why small business information matters.
Check how correct your publicly available small business data is on our Small Biz Info Quiz.
Updating your current small business information
Even if your information on every website and directory is 100% accurate today, that doesn’t mean it will be tomorrow. Businesses change all the time.
Some change phone numbers while others move to a new location. Companies might rebrand or be part of a merger or acquisition. Any of these things can make the current small business information outdated and incorrect.
You have two primary options when your business changes, whether a phone number, address, name, or something else. The first is to manually scour the internet to find all your old data. This includes unstructured references on news sites and blogs, local business citations and listings, and mentions on your company website.
After finding this information, it will need to be edited manually. Update elements (such as links, footers, and headers) and pages on the company website. Then edit all your existing citations and listings using email, a phone call, or a form on the site. You’ll also need to reach out to publications that list old data and ask them if they could update the information.
Changes via services
The other option is to use a service that focuses on small business information. Doing this is often quicker and easier than handling everything manually. You update your information through the service, and they ensure the new data is placed on the most common platforms.
One of the reasons these services are so popular is that most of the work is no longer in your hands. Instead of spending hours or days updating the most popular sites, the service does it all for you. While you’ll need to update your website and things like news sites and blogs, everything else is handled through a paid service.
On the Markaaz Dashboard, you are in control of your own business data. You can update, correct, and check all of the publicly available data on your small business. The Dashboard also enables you to directly apply for financing, find business partners, check your business credit score, and monitor your finances from within the Dashboard environment.
There are tons of tasks for a small business owner, one of which is making sure new customers or clients take advantage of your services and products. The last thing you want to do is create inconvenience among potential customers because the online information available for your business needs to be corrected.
It doesn’t matter how successful your business is if you have obsolete or inaccurate information on the internet. Data is one of the most essential things for any business, especially for small businesses. Bad small business information can significantly impact all aspects of your company, from revenue to customer experience.
Whether you own a retail store, a law firm, or an automotive repair shop, customers take to the internet to find out information about who you are and what you do. When the information provided online needs to be corrected, it will cause customers to seek out other avenues to get what you provide.
Stay on top of the competition by ensuring that your small business information on directories, citations, and business listings is accurate. Whether you handle this manually or seek a service, it’s a must for the modern business. There’s no better time than today to give your small business the highest chances of success.