Everybody wants to be their own boss, but not everybody wants to boss themselves around. It takes discipline and tenacity to grow your business. Think of your business as your baby. You need to dedicate yourself to nurturing and developing your company to encourage growth.

As a business owner, I find that the best tool for growing your consumer base is an established social media presence. Whether you love social media and use it in your personal life, or you hate it and think it's a waste of time, it's important to recognize its purpose as a business tool. Millions of users check their pages every day. You never know how many users you can convert into a customer, especially when platforms like Facebook and Instagram are frequently adjusting their interface and algorithms to better serve e-commerce.

With that being said, every business needs a professional page on major social media platforms to establish a brand and reach a broader audience. Here are three reasons why an online presence is necessary for growing your business:

Establish credibility.

You can use your social media accounts for so much more than promoting your products or services; it is an excellent channel for sharing your expertise and creating a more interactive space for engaging with your consumers and other business owners. As you engage with your peers online, you expose your business to a broader audience. Think of it as the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.

Social media platforms allow entrepreneurs to position themselves as experts in their industry. Consumers are attracted to people they believe are knowledgeable. Business owners should use their social media to establish themselves as a credible source for industry news or trends. Once you prove yourself to be an expert, your audience is more likely to trust you and engage with your business.

Communicate directly with your audience.

How often do you get the chance to talk to your consumer base in a public forum? The unique draw to social media platforms as a business tool is the ability to establish a direct line of communication with your customers. While that may seem daunting, it is an excellent opportunity for brands to establish a brand voice and connect with consumers.

As a business, you can leverage your direct connection to your customers to identify their needs and adjust your business and marketing strategies. It is a great way to determine what your buyers are looking for, so that you can create efficient systems to better serve your consumers and maximize your profit.

Exercise control over your image.

Reputation management is everything, but there's only so much you can do to ensure a positive perception. People will form their own opinions on your brand, which is only exacerbated by negative reviews and the way the media portrays your company. PR is tricky. How do you make sure you put your best foot forward?

Business owners can use their social media pages as an extension of their website. Social media platforms are the only place where you can control what images are posted, how your message is conveyed, and how your overall brand is presented to the public. It is an outlet for you to control what images or videos you want your brand to be associated with, establish a brand voice to guide interactions with your audience, and highlight the features that make your business exceptional and outstanding.

Of course, social media is not the be all and end all to a successful business. It is a tool for entrepreneurs to use to their advantage to establish a favorable image. And when it comes to a successful business? Image is everything.