Originally Published on : March, 17 - 2017Updated on: June 25 - 2022 From a…
It’s very common that new small businesses focus on necessities and urgent matters, only spending money when they “really” need to. And many of them usually tend to think that a website is a luxury item that they don’t “need”. In this article I am gonna tell you several reasons why is important to have a website.
We also see that people use to believe that a Facebook page is enough for an online presence, or that a business card that they hand out to people will generate calls, or that being in a traditional old-fashioned yellow pages book directory will help them sell products. But the truth is that nowadays, the most effective way to promote a business is by building a professional website.
An effective website is the cornerstone of your company — it houses important information and your customers expect you to have one.
Your website acts as a portal so customers can learn more about your company, as well as research product information and determine if they want to do business with you. If you’re a small business owner, you need to realize that a website isn’t an expensive luxury or something that might be needed in the future — No! A website it’s an affordable, fundamental tool that every company needs.
Believe it or not, by not having a website, you are losing, or not perceiving, 1,000 times or more the small initial investment that you make on it.
01- A website is the base for your marketing
Before you spend a dime on advertising, you need to start marketing by building a website first.
A website will act as a base for all of your advertising efforts. All business details, product information and promotions should live on your website first. Then, you can create marketing materials that are aligned with those promotions that you have online with your domain name, which will drive customers to your website for additional information.
A website sells your products and services online.
Your website acts as a digital brochure, sharing up-to-date information about your offerings. A benefit of web publishing is that you can change information in real-time — no waiting or paying for new print materials.
02- It guides potential buyers to the products and services they need by creating an effective website.
Having your website is like having your office open 24-hour, seven days a week and 365 days of the year. And not only that, you can prepare it in order to convert it in powerful selling machine. Everything starts with a vision and a decision. Think about Amazon, eBay, AliBaba, etc. Those are industry giants business models that are all Internet based. And the best is, that that model can be replicated. It depends on you how small or big you want it to grow it.
Your website provides answers to frequently asked questions and can even process sales, without you. Websites with e-commerce and purchasing options allow users to make direct purchases online, thus simplifying sales for both your staff and your customers.
Imagine that you arrive early in the morning to your office, and the first thing that you do is to check your email, and then, BUMMM, you find that there are three orders that your customers made last night. The only thing that you have to do is to process those orders in case that be physical products, call the customers if it’s a service or grab a coffee, sit and relax if it’s a digital good. In each one of the three scenarios you will be happy because the money is already in your bank account or your payment processor even before you start working. Isn’t it cool?
03- A website helps you CONNECT with new customers
While you might already have an established customer base, a website is a surefire way to connect with new customers who might be unfamiliar with your business.
More often than not, people turn to the Internet when they have a problem. Searching for solutions is easy — but is your business a potential problem solver? With a professional website, you position your business as a solution for your customers’ needs. Plus, you can optimize your site with search terms related to your industry. This will expose your business to new customers.
Please, understand this: Customers ARE NOT looking for you on the Internet; they are looking for solutions to their problems. And where do they go? Since 2000 they go to the search engines, specifically a 93% of them go to Google, and what does Google do? It shows 2 kind of results: The websites of the people that pay ads, and the websites of the people that invest in an excellent website with advanced SEO techniques. It’s for that reason that Bill Gates’s phrase is so valid.
04- A website has big benefits for local businesses
One misconception about websites is that they’re only for national companies or worldwide corporations with audiences around the globe. Actually, websites are just as, if not more, beneficial for small businesses. In fact, it’s a great way to connect with locals. You can see some stats in this link…
70 percent of U.S. households now use the Internet when shopping locally for products and services.
Additionally, search engines often rank results according to location. In other words, if you’re looking for “shoe stores near me,” Google won’t offer you a name-brand result in New York (unless of course you live in New York).
So it’s pretty clear — an online presence has big benefits even for small businesses who deal locally. No matter where you are located, you can get started with an efficient website that draws in customers.
05- A website BUILDS Credibility
Nothing is more important than the ability to be found. If you don’t have an established online identity, then customers can’t find you. Not showing up in the search engines (or on the Internet at all for that matter) is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility as a business. It makes you and your company look outdated, out of touch and untrustworthy.
Even if you’re fantastic at word-of-mouth marketing, you could be missing out on a ton of referrals. Happy customers are quick to share what they think about your business, but what about their friends who haven’t experienced your services yet? They’ll take to the Internet. And when they come up empty handed, you’ll have missed your chance for brand new customers.
06- A website helps you control your online destiny
If you think having a Facebook page or an online directory listing (like Yellow Pages) is enough to promote your business, you’re wrong.
07- Building your online presence through social platforms (while important) is not enough.
When you publish through, or rely on, a third-party platform, you’re at their mercy. If the platform decides to close your account, change their policies or revise their programming, you might lose the ability to connect with your audience. Yes, that same audience that grew up to many “friends” or “followers” might be lost in a blink of an eye. Sorry to say, but it’s true. Now, something very different occurs when you run your own website, you’re in control of both the content you produce and the platform you maintain.
I am not telling you not to use social channels, but to use them in a smart way through your website. That’s the correct way to leverage its power.
08- Websites are simple and affordable to set up
Many small business owners rely on using third-party platforms or avoid setting up their own website because they think it’s complicated or expensive.
But building and maintaining a website is easier and cheaper than ever before. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy or creative. Remember: When you don’t have a website, you are literally losing money.
Take my advice, small business owners — there are no more excuses. If you’re putting off building a website, you’re hurting your business. It’s time to get started! Allow us to help you.