8 Reasons Why You Need A Small Business Website
As a small business owner, you may believe your business cannot benefit from having a website or that a website is not within your budget. Or maybe you think because you don't use a computer, neither do your potential customers. These are misconceptions, the internet is a fact of business life, so even small firms need a presence online to hook customers.
Despite the ever-increasing importance of an online presence for businesses of all sizes and descriptions, many smaller businesses are not adjusting their strategy accordingly.
But why is this significant? Does it even matter?
Many small business owners view their business as a totally offline entity, pursuing traditional means to promote themselves and win new customers. However, regarding any business (from the largest enterprise to the sole trader, or anything in between) as purely offline is a risky strategy to take when your customers are spending more and more of their time online.
Taking advantage of the web as a business tool is important, even for businesses that may consider themselves as primarily offline. Beauty businesses, fitness businesses, plumbers, driving instructors and any number of other service businesses ultimately all measure success by their ability to build offline relationships – and the web can play a huge part in that. So no matter how established your businesses is offline, it's crucial to get the basics of online in place.
As a small business, it's unlikely you'll have big budgets, staff or free personnel hours to invest in a complex online strategy, but there are certainly some simple steps you can take to start reaping the rewards that the web can bring.
Listed below are 8 reasons why your company NEEDS a Business Website.
1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is "home-made", having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
2. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU MONEY
As a small business owner you probably think you can't afford a professional website, but you can't afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it's up and running, a website for a small business generally costs under $300 a month and, in some cases, as little as $100. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.
3. IT WILL ENABLE YOU TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS INFORMED
Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalogue. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
4. IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today's busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
5. A WEBSITE MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO TARGET A WIDER MARKET
Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally. Don't think you'll be able to sell your products or services online? Don't forget, even cars and houses sell online!
6. IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM ON WHICH TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
No matter what type of business you're in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.
7. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it's on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue 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!
8. IT IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE
Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and would like to share tips on how to recycle, or perhaps you're an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their book-keeping practices. By including a FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers' questions you can keep them up-to-date. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.