Your website is your calling card, and before you meet with new clients or customers you can bet that they’re going to look you up online – so what is it that they’re going to see? You wouldn’t send out an unfinished promotional brochure to your mailing list, and those are customers who already know you! So, why should your website be any different?
Like many small business owners, you may believe your business cannot benefit from having a website or that a website is not within your budget. Or maybe you think because you don’t use a computer, neither do your potential customers. These are misconceptions. These 10 reasons show why your company NEEDS a professional website, no matter what size your business.
1. Most Searches Begin Online.
When someone is looking for a product, service, business, or a solution to a problem, their search will probably begin online. If your business hasn’t got an online presence, then you won’t be a consideration. Not having a website now, is like not being listed in the Yellow Pages in years gone by.
A lot of people like to find out as much as possible about a business before they make a decision on which business, product, or service to buy from. If they can’t find out a lot about your business, or your offering, they make stop considering your business because the lack of information is inconvenient to them.
Yes, they could call, email, or visit you, but during the research stage, people want to use as little effort as possible. If a business makes information readily and easily available, that’s much more convenient and easier than having to call, or wait for a reply.
2. Your Small Business Will Gain Credibility.
Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
3. A Websites Saves You Money.
As a small business owner you probably think you can’t afford a professional website, but you can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it’s up and running, a website for a small business generally costs under $100 a month and, in some cases, as little as $20. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.
4. It Will Enable You To Keep Your Customers Informed.
Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalogue. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
5. It Is Always Accessible (It’s Your Only 24/7 Employee).
A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
6. A Websites Makes It Possible To Target A Wider Market.
Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally. Don’t think you’ll be able to sell your products or services online? Don’t forget, even cars and houses sell online!
7. It Shows A Medium On Which To Showcase Your Work.
No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.
8. A Website Saves Your Time.
Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money!
9. Making Your Company Look Professional and Established, While Extending Your Brand.
A website will help your small business make a full and positive first impression. Instead of disappointing new prospects who can’t seem to find more information about you, you’ll have happy potential customers who can easily get their questions answered. If they get those answers from an attractive, well-written, easy-to-use website, they are more likely to form a good opinion of your company. That good opinion can go a long way toward making a new prospect feel comfortable with your brand, which improves your chances of making a sale.
10. Stay Ahead Of or Keep Up With Competition.
People use the internet to research everything from desserts to Ferrari to preschools. If your competitor has a web site listed in their print ad and you don’t, those online savvy people may check out your competitor’s offerings first which means you could lose out on potential sales.