Does my business really need a website?Published
Yes, yes you do. “Of course, you’d say that!” you might cry “You make websites!” but to that I’d say:
- Well, yes. Wouldn’t be in this business if I thought websites were a bad idea,
- I don’t just make websites. I provide solutions to help grow and nurture your business.
But to be fair this is an important question to ask yourself, as many business owners for various reasons, whether starting out or having traded for years may question whether this is the best time to create a website. Your business may be small, with 5 employees or less, or sells products or services that you feel can’t be sold on the internet (believe me if it exists, you can sell it over the internet), or you have enough local customers that help you keep afloat so why invest the time, money and resources into a website?
Because that’s exactly what it is, an investment. It’s an investment into your business that will pay dividends in the long run. If you want your business to grow, and it isn’t, and you don’t have a website, I think I may have a solution for you. In this article I’ll present to you the reasons why you need a website for your business to thrive, and why not having one may be holding your business back.
Whether we like it or not first impressions are very important. It could make the difference between getting a new job or being stuck with the old one. Or it could make the difference between looking forward to Christmas with the In-Laws or dreading it. First impressions are everything and when it cuts into your bottom line it should be remedied at once.
Did you know that human beings form first impressions of one another within the first 7 seconds of meeting each other? This also applies to businesses too. When a potential new customer lands on your site they’ll be assessing you on all sorts of criteria, including (but not limited to) professionalism & credibility. So, the question needs to be asked: what sort of impression is your business making to potential new customers when it lacks a website? When faced with the choice, who will those customers pay attention to? The business with the site or the one without?
And what about investors? Does your business look viable to potential investors without any digital presence? Would the investor feel assured that the business was on the up? A website, even a simple one, can add legitimacy (and credibility) to your business and its activities that provides a base level of reassurance to potential new customers who would otherwise turn away to look at the competition.
It maybe that you already have a site but have not seen any noticeable gains in revenue. It not just enough to have a website but you need to have a well-designed, professional-looking website. If you’re current website looks anything like these then that might be the problem. Remember, first impressions are everything.
With the internet has come the age of “on-demand”; want to watch as TV show? go to Netflix and binge an entire series. Want to buy a new BBQ grill at 3 in the morning? Go to Amazon, they’re open 24/7. Can’t find what you want on Amazon? Just search on Google for hundreds of other options. The internet has brought an unprecedented level of convenience to consumers which means if you don’t make yourself accessible to your customers they’ll just move on to your competition.
According to an Ofcom report published in 2019, 87% of households in the UK are online, spending on average of just under 23 hrs a week surfing the web. That’s time they could be spending looking at what your business has to offer. From a business standpoint, those sorts of numbers are difficult to ignore.
Let’s say your business is a store selling clothes, open 09:00-17:00, but no website. Next door to you is another business owner, running a similar store, open at the same times, but he has a website running e-commerce. His customers have the added benefit of being able browse his stock online, order outside of operating hours and have it delivered to their front door.
Maybe you only serve your local area and aren’t looking to expand beyond that. That’s great, but the answers the same no matter the size of the business or customer base, you need to have an online presence. The internet (particularly Google) is the modern-day equivalent of the phone book. You need a product or service you search online for it, even for a local barber or plumber. There could be hundreds of people in your local area, passing your physical location every day, looking for your services, unaware of your existence.
Earlier I said that a website is an investment. This is true in many aspects. In terms of advertising a good, well designed website can provide more bang-for-your-buck advertising value than a billboard. It’s a way to entice new customers, but also keep an on-going relationship with current customers with news & updates. New employees could get access to training videos. Your website could be the foundation of a digital web presence that spans blog-pages, newsletters, video channels, & social media where your business becomes the go-to of your industry. With social media in the mix it makes it that much easier for your current customers to spread what you have to offer via a digital word-of-mouth (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc). The possibilities are near endless.
And did you know that 81% of online users conduct research on the internet before making a purchase? Let’s go back to the example of the clothes store. If you wrote a blog-page post about the latest fashion trends of this season, those doing research could come across your piece, could read other posts, and from decide that yours is the store to buy from because you clearly know what you’re talking about. With a well-designed website you can show how professional, knowledgeable & credible your business is.
The Next Step
So hopefully I’ve convinced you that a website is not only beneficial but essential for your business, but what now? It’s time to make that website a reality! Best thing about this is that with a little time and effort you can actually build one for free! There are also many other routes you can choose depending on your wants and need. We’ll dive into all your options in the next article.