If you’re a small business owner or you’re just starting out, like many, you may think there’s no benefit in having a website when you can do everything on social media. Or maybe you think you can’t afford a professional website so you get a freebie and do it yourself instead.
Perhaps you’re in the generation that didn’t grow up with computers, you don’t use a computer so you think your customers don’t use computers. You think if you are not tech savvy why bother with a website. But even if you are an established business that has relied on word of mouth and think you are doing quite well thank you, there are several reasons why your business needs a professional website too.
I believe, even with all that you can do on social media, and even if you’ve been in business for several decades, unless you do not want to grow your business or you’re about to retire and travel the world, your business needs a website and preferably one that is professionally designed and developed.
Here are 5 compelling reasons why your business NEEDS a professional website
#1 YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
More and more people are searching online for things they want, for solutions to their problems, to compare prices, or just to get some information about a store, restaurant or business before they purchase from them. If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do, especially if you are a home-based business without a bricks-and-mortar address.
Having a website will not only provide the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility. It says, I am here, I mean business, and I am in it for the long haul.
With careful planning, designed responsively and with your customers’ needs in mind, your website will provide a professional image and give potential customers a great experience when they visit, whether it’s on their computer, their tablet or their mobile phone.
#2 IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. But you really can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs and your skill level, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress, which enables you to add and change your own content regularly, saving you money in updates.
Compared with the cost of traditional means of advertising, such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials and even networking events that often include the cost of a meal or trade tables, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business long term.
Even if your skill levels are slim to none and you need to continually pay your website designer to maintain and update your website for you, the upkeep costs are still lower than ongoing traditional marketing, and the investment is certainly worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
When it comes to comparing the cost of a professional website with a freebie D.I.Y. website, unless you are fairly skilled, your website will cost you in time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere in your business. Not only that, but if it’s not professional, or can’t be found in a Google search, you will lose customers and that will also cost you dearly. Saving money is definitely a great reason why your business needs a professional website, but there are several more reasons.
#3 CUSTOMERS CAN BE KEPT INFORMED
In its most basic form, think of a website as being an online brochure or catalogue that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in a print brochure or catalogue.
A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, letting them know about new products, announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources and other information through a blog on your website. Unlike print ads, newspaper articles and flyers, which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news. And if you discover a mistake after you publish a page or post, it is a quick fix.
A website can be so much more than just an online brochure or catalogue though. Now we have YouTube videos, Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks and other online media to showcase our skills, expertise and products, provide online classes, courses and workshops. Not to mention social media integration which enables you to share information on your website across numerous other channels and reach an even wider audience.
#4 A WEBSITE IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
Unlike you bricks-and-mortar location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can provide both regular and prospective customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
Not only that, with so many interactive features and add-ons available, visitors to your website can contact you, sign up for your courses, schedule appointments and even purchase directly through your website even when when you’re away from your desk or after closing .
With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
#5 A WEBSITE ENABLES YOU TO TARGET A WIDER AUDIENCE
Websites are accessible from anywhere in the world provided there is an internet connection. Since more and more people have access to the internet, even in remote locations, you can target a much wider audience if your business has a website.
Whether you offer products or services, or you’re business or consumer based, your website provides you with an alternative location to sell. As a retailer, an eCommerce website is a great place to sell your products to a wider market. Think of all the people who can’t get to your bricks and mortar store that you could sell your products to.
Even service-based businesses can offer their services globally through a website. Now that we have so many affordable ways to communicate with people, we can do business with anyone, anywhere, any time. A website makes it so much easier to attract clients from a global market.
If you’re still not convinced why your business needs a professional website, get in touch with me. I’d be happy to help you with any concerns.