10 Reasons Why a Business Needs a Website!
Small Business Owners | Sole Traders | Home Entrepreneurs| Business to Business
Don’t think your business would benefit from having a website? Don’t think you can afford one? Think a Facebook page will do instead?
Or perhaps you don’t have the time to manage your existing site effectively, and it’s becoming old and outdated?
I truly believe that many business owners today did not go into business to manage a website, they went into business to grow the business, create revenue and profitability and ultimately lead a lifestyle that the businesses profitability allows them to.
Yet they now recognise that a successful business of today needs a professional website that drives business and creates a positive perception.
For many, a professionally developed and promoted website is their main route to market, as business owners realise that the first action prospects take when sourcing or buying is to search the web for a suitable company that meets their needs.
Here are 10 reasons that demonstrate why every business NEEDS a professional website, no matter what size that business is, what its turnover may be or the type of business it is promoting.
- “Homemade” websites just don’t hack it in today’s competitive marketplace. According to an Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research, and 81% of Shoppers / Consumers do the same. That means you need your website to properly reflect the high standards and brand of your business, to beat your competitors.
- You never get a second chance to create a fantastic first impression. First impressions count and customers are passing judgment and making decisions about whether they will even use you as a supplier, visit your store, eat at restaurant or buy in your shop. They’re likely to dismiss your business entirely, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.
- SME’s generally perceive websites as a cost and an expensive cost. Yes, subject to the type of website you require the design, development and delivery could prove to be expensive, however for most smaller businesses a website requires a small investment and can pay for itself in no time at all. Website developers recognise SME’s have limited funds and have become more flexible, inventive and creative in charging their fees. Most of your competitors probably already have a website. Don’t let them snatch your customers away by not having your own business website.
- Let’s make it clear, a professionally designed and developed website is an investment not a COST! A website can give you immediate access to thousands of potential customers and when compared with the cost of a newspaper advertising, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost-effective way to promote your business. Yes, your site needs to be found, but with effective SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) it will be found locally, nationally and internationally, should you wish.
- It’s always open! Your website is always accessible and working for your business even when your business is closed. That’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, promoting and motivating your customers and prospects to buy what you are offering.
- It can improve Customer Service by including a FAQ page, adding articles or additional information on your products and services. You can provide access to a newsletter or blogs to keep customers aware of events, new products, services and special offers. The customer of today needs to know that whoever they decide to do business with will be there to help them should there be an unforeseen problem.
- Communicating with your customers takes time and time is money. Providing up to date information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. By using online brochures and catalogues, you can provide lots of information about your products and services.
- Most customers today will assume your company has a website and may search for your business only to find you do not exist or at worst it does exist but it’s not professional, is disorganised and looks badly presented. Face it, you need to have a professionally developed website that proactively manages the customer’s perception of your business, if you don’t it’s costing you money, growth and profit.
- Use it locally first before taking on the world. Websites are a very successful route to building business relationships at a local level, which is crucial to the success of so many small businesses. Focusing on your online business means building relationships with customers and potential customers, and turning that online connection into long term business results: loyal, engaged customers who come back time and again.
- It’s about the customer not you! In the competitive marketplace of today, customers want to interact with suppliers and businesses in a way that suits them, when it suits them and how it suits them. To not be positioned to accept orders by email, text or messaging is costing your business money in the short-term, and long-term customers in the long-term.
After reading the above I hope it’s clear, if you don’t have a website you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are, what you do, how you conduct business and if they want to spend their money with you.
However, it’s not enough to just have a website – a bad website may be worse than not at all. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can be worse since it literally makes your business and how it operates look bad.
If you have a Facebook page that’s great and even better when it combined and fed through your website. That aside how many Facebook pages do you see where heads are cut off because the images are sized wrongly or not posted regularly or worst no one is clicking or reading the posts.
If you can’t proudly promote the current website you have then shut it down until you can. Same goes for facebook, twitter and Instagram etc.
Last point on owning a website. Many business owners think that once you have a functioning site the job is done, WRONG, you must invest time in keeping your website updated, relevant and easy to find by using the right keywords.
This takes time and is why I recommend outsourcing that activity to a digital specialist who can ensure your website has the best chances of success in all areas
Business owners may not be the best person to design, develop and manage a website. In my opinion business owners should work ‘On their Business and not in their Business’