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Some basic reasons why your small business needs a website
by Startacus Admin
Last week during one of our daily ramblings across the information buffet that is the internet, we stumbled upon this little surprising fact, 50% of small businesses do not have a website!
Shocking we know...but what is even more perplexing is is this little tidbit - 29% of small business owners don't think that their venture needs a website.
We totally understand why this unfortunate situation has come about though. Many small business owners are unaware of the very real benefits which can come from having a professional website or believe that the costs in time and money will be too great to justify having one.
Now, we aren’t saying that every single business out there needs to go and get themselves a website or risk certain failure...indeed it may well be the case that having one would not deliver any great benefits to your business. But if you have ever found yourself quietly pondering “could having a website improve my small business?” then you might like to consider a couple of these points:
It will increase your business's visibility
We don't know about you, but when we are on the hunt for a product or service our first port of call is the internet…a habit which we share with 80% of the country’s population. It’s a very rare/non existent occasion when we would find ourselves leafing through the Yellow Pages on the hunt for a phone number…we prefer a more considered approach to product/service selection.
Just imagine the number of people that your business could be exposed to if you were to have a website. For certain types of business this could open up a whole new market to sell to...suddenly millions of people are just a click away. But even if world domination is not on your 2014 to-do list, people search for local businesses online…wouldn’t it be good if they found yours? You have probably heard the term ‘Search Engine Optimization’(or SEO) which is the process of increasing the position in which your website appears in search engine results …of which the most basic step is actually having one. In short, if you don't have a website, your aren't searchable and you won't be found!
But remember that attracting customers is not the only way in which having a website can increase your business's visibility. There are future employees, business partners and perhaps even investors out there who will be able to quickly and easily discover more about your business and what it has to offer.
You can sell your products on it
Remember that almost anything can be sold online - from candles and clothes to speedboats and houses so even if you reckon your product or service won't sell online, the chances are it will! This doesn't mean that you have got to hire a team of web developers to build a unique and sparking e-commerce site…a little online research will soon find you a good site provider that will do most of the heavy lifting and help you have a ecommerce shopping cart.
It can increase your company's credibility
People dont just use the internet to find a company's telephone number, they do it to gain a sense of the business that they will be dealing with. This will often include a visit to their website to gauge products and services and help them form an opinion about the level of service and professionalism that they can expect to find. If your website is well designed, easy to navigate and comprehensive about your services and pricing, it has the potential to instill a sense of confidence in would-be customers and should be enough to steer them in your direction over your competitors. On the other hand though, if your business doesn't have a website you could well be losing out to your rivals who do!
Makes your business available to customers 24/7/365
The internet is all about convenience, the convenience to access the services and information that you want, where you want and most importantly when you want. Having a website which is effective in meeting the needs of your business will mean that even when the doors are shut, the business is still working (albeit to a limited degree).
This certainly doesn't mean that you need to be online and engaging with your customers around the clock as on a basic level the information which you provide via your website will ‘stand in for you’ during your downtime. You can also provide your customers with the opportunity to ask questions, leave feedback and even book appointments.
Hopefully if you are someone who has always just assumed that having a website is something which is beyond either your capabilities or requirements these few simple points will have made you look again at the situation...if not we hope you enjoyed it anyway!
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