Are you a business owner looking for ways to grow your business?
And you wonder if it’s worth investing efforts to make and maintain a website?
No matter what your business is – small or big, old or new, predictable or innovative – there’s a good chance you won’t have a website online or it’s hopelessly outdated and only serves as a place where you’ve left your contact information.
For some of you, this may seem to make sense.
After all, websites can seem irrelevant, expensive and downright overloading for many entrepreneurs.
What if I told you you missed a huge opportunity?
In fact, you need a website not only if you want an online channel to help you generate leads, engage potential users, and just be where people are. Nowadays you necessarily need an online presence, to have you online, for people to be able to find any information that is related to your business before contacting you.
And while the need for a website may seem obvious to the person involved in computer repair or a freelance web designer, there are many, many companies – nearly 50 percent, if statistics are believed – that have absolutely forgotten the importance of the website to their business.
“According to the NSI, 60% of small businesses do not have websites.”
So why are you still asking, do I need a website?
Growth and sustainability are needed to keep the business strong, and this is not done by relying on the same old methods that were relevant years ago.
For a business to grow, one has to find customers outside of those they already have.
And the reality is that these prospective customers are looking for your business online.
Remember, not so long ago, we almost religiously used our list of numbers and phonebooks to solve our every need. (We often even searched from acquaintances and were happy to get the number of a desired contact)
The directories with business contacts, the yellow pages, the phone directories enjoyed our greatest tribute.
They listed all the numbers of people and companies in a given area so that we could find help locally when we needed it.
Although some of them were terribly voluminous, they were a limited source of information.
Unless a company pays for an ad, the chances of finding out a lot about a company besides the name and numbers listed in some basic position as “plumber” or “painting” were zero.
Even those who paid for ads were constrained by the technology of these media.
But now, 150 years since the first phone, the phone book has been replaced.
Now is the era of online search.
While only 50 per cent of businesses are online, surveys show that consumers view the internet as a big virtual shopping centre.
In fact, according to one such survey, 91 percent of all customers report looking for their goods and services online, and 93 percent admit to exploring their choices on the web.
With such numbers, it’s not about “Why I need a website for my business”, but rather “Why do I need a proper website”.
Let’s face it. Business is about making money.
And no matter your size, location or market, the sustainability of business in the 21st century means being online.
There are many compelling reasons to have a website.
In fact, websites continue to have authoritative value for users, making them excellent opportunities to convey your company’s identity and message.
Customers see the well-formed online space as a demonstration of your knowledge and professionalism.
Well-designed websites allow you to take care of both your target market and those you want to attract.
By having your own site, you can tap into what resonates with your audience and ensure that the products, services, or information you want to receive reach them effectively.
You can bet your last penny on an ad that it is.
Being online is one of the most cost-effective forms of connecting with customers, and for small businesses it’s something that changes the rules of the game.
Just think about it: no printing, postage or staff costs, just quick, easy, 24-hour access to the products and services that make your business unique.
And with ever-evolving technology such as new search engine optimization software (SEO) and mobile apps, you can connect with these prospective customers in more meaningful ways and at a more relevant time for them than traditional advertising could ever have.
Best of all, when your presence is set up correctly , your customers will actually come to you themselves.
By any means.
Whether they’re looking for reviews or services, products or information, creative ideas or practical advice, being able to reach customers in a way that’s both meaningful and unique to them highlights why small businesses need a website.
And because every business is as unique as the people who do it, websites are the perfect tool for customers to better understand you, your brand, your products, services and staff.
The website allows you to communicate before users cross your threshold, come to your office or store, talk to sales staff.
The website allows business relationships to develop in a way that customers appreciate.
As any good business owner knows, customer relationships are the best way to achieve a strong foundation, and with the help of a website these relationships can not be easier to build and promote.
Even for those of us without innate technical abilities, websites are far easier than it seems at first glance, and they get easier all the time.
And while there are so many experts, tutorials and tools to help guide you to success, it’s not just installation that makes these websites such a useful investment.
More and more people are turning to the internet for all the information they need. This way, when you’re online, you make it easier for users to find you, and you build a potential customer base through smart content marketing.
Websites offer numerous ways to connect, update, promote and receive feedback, all with minimal effort on your part, compared to traditional methods of the past.
In short: yours.
From artisans to manufacturers and technical wholesale deliveries, there is a whole range of consumers who are just waiting for the right bait.
And while some entrepreneurs go to existing sites to sell their goods – eBay, Etsy, Amazon, iCraft Gifts or OLX – there are many for which their own website is certainly the best way.
One business area that really thrives online is the service industry.
Websites help disseminate information, share examples, and expand the market for the service industry without overhead associated with ads or physical resources such as premises, rentals, people and wages.
It allows many service-based companies to reduce costs and make their prices competitive.
But websites aren’t just about selling something.
For companies from B2B (business to business) the online presence sphere is of utmost importance.
Potential partner companies will definitely be willing to get information about you.
That’s why you need to make it accessible so you don’t dissuade them. If they can’t find anything for you, they’il go to the competitors.
While you may be inclined to think that all online formats are the same, it’s important to remember that the internet is like an ocean with many different fish swimming in the water.
Social media is very volatile, with ever-changing algorithms that make it impossible to predict.
What works today could prove detrimental to your success tomorrow.
Unfortunately, many companies think of Facebook not as social media, but as a kind of free website.
Some of these companies have learned the hard way that without their own website, their online presence depends on the ever-changing rules of the social media platform (such as Facebook) and the volatile audience.
On the other hand, websites can work very well with social media, providing a hub that, although permanent, is certainly not static.
This leaves all control over yours, from message and content to ways to share information.
While some call it the “digital age”, others see it as a normal trend, the reality is that sharks don’t swim long in empty waters.
You are constantly evolving, resisting pressure and not letting the opportunity pass you by – so why wait?
Think of your website as your virtual store, marketing campaign and source of information, all wrapped in an easily accessible package that blends in and merges with the natural progress of your business.
With this you should not rush, but rather be carefully built with the same care and attention that you put into all the other components of your business.
You didn’t just jump in and come up with your logo or business name from the first time, did you? You’ve thought about it, you’ve researched it, and you’ve processed it until you’ve done it accurately.
The same must apply to your online presence.
This will require a careful combination of marketing, public relations, coding, design, copywriting, user experience setup, photography and more to get the original but effective website your company needs and deserves.
It sounds like a lot of work, but don’t worry – it’s achievable!
Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re likely not in the website design business, and starting the process of creating an effective website can seem like a daunting task.
This is normal: sometimes everyone needs help.
And that’s why we’re proud of the strategies we create, the right content we deliver and help in creating your website and planning a content strategy.
From the smallest detail to the overall impression of a site, we are here to help you with your online marketetine efforts.
Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you.
You have a big sea to conquer, so let the other little fish swim alone.