Do you really need a website?
The simple answer is yes. There aren’t many businesses that can survive without a web presence, and there’s no reason not to have a website.
Running your own business is no easy task, and your to-do-list is guaranteed to never end. This said, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to take short cuts when it comes to having online visibility. Beginning with your website, it’s vital to position yourself online with a strong, professional destination that gives customers the impression you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your audience.
Here’s 5 reasons why if you haven’t got a website, you should …
You should make your business as accessible as possible, letting people interact with you in a way that suits them, whenever they want to. Your site communicates with prospective customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Even when you aren’t at work or operating within your business opening hours, your website is searchable, readable and ready for new enquiries. Your customers can get to know you and your products through the website at their own convenience.
Even though your website is accessible from anywhere, it doesn’t mean that it needs to go global, in fact the opposite is far more beneficial. Small business success usually relies heavily on building relationships at a local level, turning an online enquiry to offline custom, with loyal , repeat customers. Local listings sites, online networking groups and building partnerships with other local business is a great way of advertising your website and getting more local visitors. Once your business model has proven successful and you have cemented yourself in the local community you can then adapt your website to present your business to a wider national or international market.
Whether it’s being able to receive request for a quotation from a customer sent to you via a website contact form, outside of your business hours or being able to purchase a product that you sell and get it delivered directly to their home, your business must provide maximum convenience. With convenience in mind and as a business owner, you must recognise that your customer attention spans are extremely short. Users will very quickly lose interest with a website that executes poorly. The most important factor in this area is to ensure that your website is responsive and works on all devices, especially mobile. Your website should also be dynamic and designed in such as way that it can be adapted as your business grows. A professionally build website which includes a content management system will allow you to do this with relative ease.
4. Saving Time (And Money)
Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With a website you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money! You can spend more time on selling your products and services and increasing your revenue as many of the menial operations that your business has can be self managed through the information you provide on your website. Keeping the content up-to-date and relevant is good for business and may even attract more customers.
The internet allows provides more of a level playing field for small businesses enabling you, with a lot of grit and determination to compete against larger, more established businesses. With a professionally design site, your small operation can project the image and respectability of a much bigger company. It will also help you build your brand, find and engage new customers, broaden your reach beyond the local area, differentiate your company from competitors and lastly, give you credibility within your industry. Every business, no matter its size or age, should have a website as it is a statement of legitimacy and a way of instilling confidence in your business.
The sooner you gain a presence on the web, the better. If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. The more professional your website is, the more opportunities you provide for your business.