Think of a website of as a marketing tool. A way to get customers to your business. Not necessarily a way to sell, but a way to educate them about what you do, how you do it, who you are and what you offer.
It’s a communication device.
But do you REALLY need one? Should small businesses have websites?
What do I mean by a small business?
When I am talking about a small business, this can mean anything from a one man band selling flowers to a 10 person employment law firm. Anything where you don’t have corporate support, where you don’t have an external marketing team, or an advertising agency to do your awareness work. Where you or someone else in your company is responsible for getting you ‘out there’.
So if this is you, no matter what people say, you DO need a website and here are 10 good reasons why:
Reason 1: Your website is a hub
Everyone is online these days. And we all know it. It’s a place where people can find out about you wherever they are. And the answers to all their questions about you should be there.
What do you do, who are you, what do you sell, what do you know. Otherwise, think about it, where else will they find this information? who will bother to call to find out these answers. They will just move onto the next person, and you will lose that customer.
Reason 2: It looks bad if you DON’T have one
For the reason stated above, say for example if you own a interior design business and you have no where online where people can find out about you then people will go. Just having a facebook page is not enough. You can’t get over who you are and you can’t convey your brand identity as you are using the generic facebook template. All businesses look the same.
Reason 3: It’s so easy to get started
No longer are there huge costs to start a website, you don’t need to pay a developer who has specialist technical skills. In fact, you can set up your own website incredibly easily.
There are a few free website builders out there. Have a play around with this one to set up a free (actually you can have 2 for free) website in 30 seconds
Reason 4: You are always available.
If someone has a question about your products, then they can email you through your website contact form or through an email address that you provide.
If you sell products on your website then people can order right away. No one can ever be put off by opening hours again and you won’t lose customers now who love your stuff.
Reason 5: Your blog is a place to show off
It’s a place to show your expertise where people can learn from you. As part of the blog segment of your website (a section that everyone should consider having) you can keep people REGULARLY updated with industry news and inside information about the things YOU know. Showing yourself as an expert and making your product range far more sellable.
This reinforces your brand identity and keeps the content of your website fresh. Search engines such as Google like this and means that your website will rise up the ranks. This can put you infront of more potential customers.
Check out this article for more ways to improve your google rank.
If you want some training on keyword research and how to optimise your content for search engines take a look at this free training program.
Reason 6: You can give offers directly to your customers
With a website you can always have the latest offers available for people to see in a special offers section or a pop up on the page. You can use this to drive customers in store to take up the offer or to buy from the shopping cart ‘before the offer runs out’.
People can then see that you offer great value for money, even if they don’t take up the offer.
Reason 7: Gather customers on an email list.
You can use your website to gather information on your customers.
If they are perhaps not ready to buy right now then you can lead them into signing up for your email list and use this to communicate with them more regularly. This will build trust and a relationship, therefore increasing the likelihood of them buying from you in the future and continuing to do so over time. A VERY valuable asset.
Reason 8: Sell products online
Save overhead costs and sell your products online. You can add e-commerce functionality pretty easily to most WordPress websites, or you could build your website with an integrated online store such as shopify which makes the function altogether easier.
Reason 9: It gives you credibility
It just makes you look professional. I don’t think I need to say any more.
Reason 10: Stay abreast with the competition
Has your competition got a website? If so, then you definitely should. You can’t get left behind in this competitive world and showing that you are advanced enough to have a website will help you stay ahead of your competition.
Reason 11: You CAN build a business with JUST a website
If you don’t have an offline (bricks and mortar) business then you can use a website to build one from scratch. Pick any niche that you are interested in. And then start writing. With a little training on the way on how to monetise that site you could be well on your way to a successful online business.
And if you need some help on where to start check out this program to get the best training there is out there, starting for FREE
If you have any other comments or ideas about why a small business should have a website I would love to hear them below.