If you’re the owner of a small business wondering whether or not to take the plunge and launch a website, it can seem a daunting task. Is it worth the hassle? Will it be cost effective? Here are ten reasons why your business needs a website.
- Customers expect a credible business to have a web presence. If a potential client is comparing vendors, often that is done online and if they have heard great things about you but can’t find your website, you’re missing out on an opportunity to start a dialogue. A visit to the company website is commonplace before visiting the business even if only to get directions.
- 24/7/365 It’s unlikely your business is open all day, every day. Your website gives you the chance to reach new customers even when your doors are closed. If you’re in a business where you’re attracting tourists, they may be in a different time zone when they’re scouting hotels or restaurants, meaning even if they can’t speak to you on the phone, they can email or inquire easily.
- It is clear this is the way forward. There will never be a day when this becomes bad for business – new platforms may crop up in social media and there will be advances in design, but it is clear the norm is to have a website. If you haven’t got one already, it’s not too late.
- It reinforces your brand. Take your content and use your logo, your name, your marketing to present it in a ‘digital shop front’. When searching the web, even seeing your name in a list sparks recognition and builds a link from the thought process to clicking in and finding out more.
- It needn’t be forty pages. A concise, professional site is better than an extensive, poorly designed site. It’s the quality of the content which will rank you in the searches and keep people coming back.
- You can leverage testimonials. Referrals are vital to build your client base. Presenting reviews from real people is a great way to earn trust. Readers will effectively be introduced to you through the eyes of someone like them – a client.
- Re-invent your business now. Maybe you’ve been established for a few years, your services or products have changed over time, your focus has shifted slightly to better suit the times or changes in your field. Creating a website helps you drop the legacy of discontinued products and encourages you to revisit who you are today.
- Your website becomes a great ‘home base’ for exploring your other promotional material – with links to social media like facebook, your website can not only be used to display the ‘link’ buttons but you can display the feed so that once you routinely post 1 day sales or offers to facebook, they will automatically be displayed on your website giving you extra reach with minimal effort.
- With ease of shipping and competitive costs, a small business doesn’t need to think locally. Even if you rely on people being in the immediate vicinity like a coffee shop, are they likely to look for you before they arrive? If you sell a great product can it only be used nearby or would someone be prepared to purchase from you and pay extra for shipping? The website gives you reach.
- Save money on traditional advertising. It’s expensive to design and print colorful brochures, videos or handouts. Flimsy black and white tri-fold leaflets are unlikely to impress. A website gives you freedom to market your wares in vibrant color, with a soundtrack or video links if you wish. It can also be updated and maintained to stay evergreen (unlike the brochures you printed before the prices changed or you noticed the typo on page 7).
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