Dorothy and her ragtag group of friends had all the odds against them trying to reach Emerald City. The four friends (five counting Toto) were outnumbered by the Wicked Witch, and with an army that big, it seemed unlikely that they would best her. Yet they reached the Emerald City didn’t they? And all because they chose to follow the yellow-brick road…

Cheesy metaphor aside, the road to success can sometimes be as easy as simply deciding to start on your journey. This is especially true for small businesses. Many small business owners are overwhelmed by big businesses’ presences on the web, thinking that they can never beat them so why join? If Dorothy, Frodo, or every other protagonist thought that way then we would have no happy endings.

Sure you may not reach 4 million Facebook followers like Lady Gaga, and your website may not get hundreds of thousands of hits daily, but that doesn’t mean social media or websites will not do something for you. 7 out of 10 potential customers are more likely to buy from a local business when it makes information accessible through a social media site (via ComScore and TMP Directional Marketing’s “Local Search Usage Study: Bridging The Gaps, From Search to Sales”) And when consumers need local business information, 70 percent of them search online first.

By not creating a website, or at least trying social media, you are doing your small business a great disservice. Your visitors might only be locals in your area, but one day you could reach millions thanks to your efforts. Just remember Coca Cola, Lowe’s, Apple and more all started out as small businesses too. Your most profitable business practice could be simply setting up a website, creating a Facebook, listing your business on customer review sites or Google maps, etc.

If you’re a small business, embrace your underdog status. Get your product online. People will only know as much as you tell them. Create small, devoted networks, but act like they’re some of millions because that’s what creates loyal customers. You have a place small business in the online world. Don’t be afraid to embark on the road to success, your Emerald City awaits.