Widely available, easily accessible IT tools and Internet resources have flung open the doors for small businesses and start-ups.

But as all business owners know, time is of the essence. If you’re an entrepreneur, blogging may be the last thing on your mind. A long-term investment with no immediate payoff? I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t given a second thought to blogging, you’ve likely got piles of other tasks to get through. But often it’s precisely these long-term investments that make all the difference.

Even though its value is hard to quantify, many of the most successful entrepreneurs see blogging as a crucial part of the business promotions. 

Here are 6 reasons why:

1. Blogging helps you nurture and share your ideas. Writing requires you to develop and explain different concepts and viewpoints. Sitting down to write forces you to think more deeply and flesh out your ideas, which in turn helps clarify your thinking and communicate your ideas to others. These skills are highly transferable, and can be used in other creative areas of your business.

2. Blogging allows you to showcase your business and culture. Without a blog, it’s very hard to let people know what your business is really like. Blogging helps you show customers your human side. This helps to create and build relationships with your customers, and show them why you’re different. After all, your culture might be the reason why people are drawn to your business in the first place.

3. Blogging helps build your audience. What better way to attract customers than by sharing ideas that compel them to follow you? With each blog post you extend your reach. And with that comes an increased number of potential customers you’re communicating with.

4. Blogging lets you tell your story. Humans are hard-wired to respond to stories. They engage and inspire us and they stick in our memories. Blogging provides a platform where you can share yours. After all, potential customers love a good ”how we got where we are” tale.

5. Blogging establishes your expertise. Well-written, relevant posts will help you position yourself as an industry expert and get your name out there among people in your field. The more you know about the things you're writing about, the more likely potential readers will trust you to offer them a great product or service.

6. Blogging allows you to reflect. With so much going on in a small business, there’s little time to slow down and reflect. Blogging gives you an opportunity to do just that. 

Perhaps the best thing about blogging is that anyone can do it. Whether you’re a publisher or not, whether you have a degree or don’t – you can blog. All you need is something to say, and a platform to say it on. So what’s holding you back?