6 Good Reasons Your Small Business Needs A Website
In the current state of the modern marketplace, businesses have websites. Period. A corollary to this is that if you have a bad site, it is worse than having no website at all, and having no website at all is not an option. A Facebook page is not enough. The previous statements may seem blunt, but there is no getting around them. The internet has reshaped modern commerce. We are now in a globally connected, 24/7, always-on world that does business at the speed of light and all hours of the day and night. To compete in this world is not actually as difficult as it sounds, but there are a few ground rules, and having a well-optimized site is one of those.
There are any number of good reasons why your small business needs a website beyond just having one for the sake of having one. For one thing, most potential customers are disappointed if they search for your website and find you don’t have one. Failure to provide this essential resource reflects poorly on your reputation as a quality operation because it is an inconvenience to the potential customer. They want their questions answered without having to call or visit your location. A functioning website with pertinent information is a service they have come to expect and to lack one forms a poor first impression. First impressions are difficult to change.
The following list of benefits of running a small business website should convince you that the opening’s first blunt statements are not only true but so is the statement that having your own small business website is a valuable and desirable objective. It is in your best interest financially and business-wise. Let’s examine why.
A Quality Website Builds Trust
You want to gain credibility with every business move you make because, as we said, first impressions last. Your website is your online storefront, just like Macy’s or Starbucks. A professionally well-designed and developed website shows the global shoppers — and the local community searching for you — that you are serious about your business. You want to make your site looks as though you have a whole team working on it. And by hiring the right professionals, you do. If you have a homemade site that makes you look like an amateur, it reflects on your company’s reputation. Have it professionally redesigned so that it inspires confidence in the quality of your products and competence of your services.
Increase Online Exposure
Everybody googles. 70% of US shoppers use the internet when shopping locally. Finding your website adds instant visibility to your operation, and that means profits. If a potential customer searches for your business by name or by product and it isn’t found, your profits end up at your competitor’s shop. Proper website development ensures that your business will be found high up and visible among the thousands of search results possible. Word-of-mouth advertising is powerful and smart shoppers today use their portable smartphones and tablets to google the names of companies they have just heard about. You want that internet visibility to capture this potential new customer’s business.
Pick a Smart Domain Name
Every website has a unique domain name, which is the web address where your website is located. It is crucial for you to include this domain name — called a URL — in all your advertising, marketing, business publications, press releases, business cards, on all communications and media. The importance of this URL suggests that you should establish your website at the beginning of a major ad campaign, so the URL is available for all of your materials. Your URL is just as important as your phone number and street address. Once established, you have the URL as long as you have the website and beyond.
A Website Has Vast, Long Term Reach
It is an investment to build a professionally designed and developed website, but the option is to be left out of today’s marketplace. The upside is that a good website is inexpensive to run and maintain. Even the initial investment you make is a relatively low-cost expense, especially compared to something like newspaper advertising which is very costly and does not produce a lasting resource. Also, your website allows you to open up new markets for your goods and services, particularly if you are a traditional bricks-and-mortar shop. In fact, if you wish, you can take your sales global through e-commerce. A website becomes a very cost-effective sales platform in its own right, reaching millions of new customers overnight. An e-commerce platform keeps selling 24/7, as opposed to being closed during non-business hours. There are no non-business hours on the internet.
Real Time Pricing For Customers
Once you have your professionally designed and developed website in place, there is no longer any need to print expensive brochures or color catalogs, as your product information is now online day and night, available at a click for anyone to access and perhaps to click once again and purchase. It is not necessary to wait weeks and months and spend lots of money at the printers to update the catalogs with additions and deletions and changes in the merchandise. Now you can use electronic databases to freshen your online offerings in real-time, keeping your website current with the latest information and your customers happy with the most recent up-to-date products, services, and accessories. Faster to the customer, faster to the bank.
Easy To Get the Word Out
There are many other types of useful information you can easily provide your customers with the low-cost publishing capabilities of your website. New product announcements, special events, current promotions, electronic and printable coupons, special service offers, current news and newsletters, press releases, photo galleries, videos, and just about anything else you can think of. Links to your social media are a good idea, too, to keep your customers involved in the conversation and spreading the word to the world at large.
Is There More?
Yes! There are many more reasons your small business needs a website. We’ve covered only the basics, but they are compelling. Providing a satisfying and useful customer experience, saving money and building credibility at the same time, expanding your markets and your sales channels, getting a huge return on a small investment, an investment which keeps returning value over and over in cost savings, and the list continues. What matters most is that you ensure yourself a spot in the modern global — and local — marketplace, which is where today’s customers are. You can take that to the bank.