Here’s the bottom line: your small business needs a website, period.
We really could end this blog post there. Having a website is essential for your small business for all sorts of reasons. Yes, it takes a little work to set up. Yes, you don’t have the time you’d need to do it (or to learn about it). Yes, you’ll deal with (minimal) ongoing costs, and you’ll have to update content from time to time.
But it’s still essential. Bill Tobey, Sales Manager from one of the top IT companies in Raleigh explains why:
- It Tells People You’re Serious
Having a website tells potential customers that you’re serious about your business. Think about the last time you tried a new local restaurant. Perhaps you drove by the site on the way to and from work and you were intrigued by the construction process.
Here’s the question, though: did you go there for the first time without first checking the place out online? We didn’t think so. No, you looked online for a menu and for prices. You consulted the restaurant’s website (or Google) to find its hours. Only after this kind of research did you actually get in the car and drive to the restaurant, right?
The parallel is obvious. Many potential customers want to “check you out” online before they stop by your location. If you don’t have a website, they may move along to a competitor who does.
- It’s Expected
Building on the previous point: it’s 2019. People downright expect that businesses have a web presence. If you don’t have one, you run the risk of looking like the outdated, backwards contender in your industry. Again, think about your own experience (or, if you have adult children, yours and theirs). You expect to be able to find businesses online, and it’s frustrating when you can’t. Don’t frustrate potential customers. Get a website.
- It’s (Mostly) Free Advertising
The homepage to your website is like a billboard for your company: one that people go out of their way to find and read! It’s the best kind of free advertising. OK, the website itself might not be free, but you get the benefits of a digital billboard without spending on digital advertising. Why wouldn’t you claim your “digital signage” and give customers another avenue to learn about your business?
- Setting Up a Basic Website Is Simple
20 years ago, people had to know a thing or two to build an effective website, or they had to pay web developers big bucks to do it for them. Today, the landscape is completely different. Sites like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace offer simple to use tools that don’t require any deep technical skills to use.
Some of these services even offer a tier that’s completely free. We don’t recommend using it, as you’ll typically end up hosting ads that you can’t control in exchange for that free service, but if price is the biggest concern, it’s nice to know that a free service exists.
- Having a Good Website Greatly Expands Your Reach
If your website is well built and ranks well in search engines, it will expand your reach far beyond what many traditional advertising campaigns can do. Having a good web presence means that when people search on Google or other search engines for “[your industry] [your town]”, your website will be one of the results they see.
This kind of reach is incredibly powerful, especially compared to the cost and benefit you’d get through traditional advertising.
- Keep Up with the Joneses
If you haven’t done a Google search like the one described above, go ahead. Do one now. What do you see? Well, if you don’t have a website yet, you see your competitors. Many if not all of them have websites, and you don’t. Get a website so you can keep up with your competitors.
- Sell More Stuff to More People
If your business sells a product, you can sell it to more people in more places with a website. If you’re on the east coast, how will people in California (much less Europe or Asia!) find you and buy your stuff? They likely aren’t traveling to where you live. Investing in a website with an ecommerce component drastically increases your potential for sales.