I often have clients saying, “my business is too small for a website. It’s just me and I don’t want to sell anything online”. My answer is always the same: regardless of the size of your business, and whether you plan to sell your products or services online or not, you do need to have an online presence.
There are many reasons and benefits of having a website. Here are the six main ones:
You stop being invisible.
More and more people are looking for resources/ companies almost exclusively online. Potential customers are typing their problems or needs into a search engine and are researching the companies that appear for those queries. If you don’t have a Web presence, there’s no chance of you showing up and you never even enter into their thought process. In today's world, you can’t afford to be invisible.
You create another sales tool.
A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create a compelling call to action. Your website is where people can go to seek out trusted and most up to date information about your company and engage with you on a more personal level. A website can build confidence in your brand and give customers important buying information (and incentives).
You build authority.
Though the Web has been around for some time, it’s true that you didn't always need a website to find your audience. It was a lot easier to market via Yellow page ads and local word-of-mouth. However, today your website and your social presence are the factors that customers are looking for when they research a small business. They want to know that you’re stable enough to have a dedicated Web presence. That you’ll be around tomorrow should something go wrong. That they can get a hold of you when they need to. By creating a website, you set up shop on the Internet and show customers that this is where they can come to find information about you, to read articles that you've written and to learn more about your company. All of these things build authority. Without a website, you’re at a huge disadvantage as a small business owner trying to speak to your customers.
You build an email list.
You probably use email. You may even collect emails from your customers by hand so that you can keep them up to date on what’s happening in-store. Having a website allows you to do all of that better because it makes it easier, faster and provides even more incentive for someone to sign up. Create a site that users can trust and then use it to build your email list. Along with your website, that list just may end up being one of your strongest sales tools.
Catch up with your competition
While you’re pondering over whether you should have a website or not we are pretty much sure that your competitors already have websites and are reaping the benefits of doing business on the World Wide Web. By having a website you will be coming at par with your competitors
This is one of the strongest reasons to have a website. You know your competitors have a website. Not only your local retailers but also manufacturers and online sellers use websites as a way to communicate with existing and potential customers. It doesn't mean that all of your competitors have a web presence but probably at least one nearby has a website! Don’t lose customers to them! If you are local, adding a printable map showing your location is a great convenience for your customer.
Those are just six important reasons for a small business owner to create a Web presence.