Many small business owners have websites. Often, they don’t know why they have a website or what to do with it. They just have one because everyone else seems to have one. The digital equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses! But as a small business owner, do you really need your own website? Here are 5 reasons why having a website is a good idea.
Your Online Presence
If you are looking to buy something yourself, you probably look on the internet first. You may not want to buy online but it is a great place for research. Think about your customers. They do exactly the same thing and however good your business is, if a customer can’t find you online and compare you to your competitors, they will probably dismiss you.
If a customer finds you online, it gives them confidence that you are a ‘proper business’. If you have a professional image online, your small business gains instant credibility. A website is also not as expensive or complicated as you probably think. You can easily use these Weebly templates to build your own website at a very low cost. This will inspire confidence in your potential, and regular, customers.
Think Local First
Quite often, a small business owner will think they don’t need a website as they only provide products or a service within their local area. They do not need the global presence that having a website gives them. However, nothing can be further from the truth. A website is a great way to build up a local following and develop a great relationship with both current and potential customers. You may be local to some of your customers, but they may not like having to walk or drive round to do business with you. They are just as likely to engage with you online, as they will face to face. A website is a great way to develop relationships locally which will probably last far longer than that of someone halfway around the world.
Show Your Work to the World
Even if you want your world to be a small local world, a website is an excellent way to showcase your wares. Your website can have links to your portfolio or images of your products. Most importantly, you can display testimonials from your satisfied customers. This gives your small business credibility and inspires confidence in your work.
A website is a great place to show your online brochure. No more printing and distributing a paper catalog. Your customers can look through your products and services online 24/7. They can even make an appointment or a purchase and you don’t need to be there. This is far more convenient for your customers, who may themselves work during your normal business hours. You may gain business that you would otherwise lose just by being accessible.
For many, your website may be a customer’s first impression of you and your business. It is far easier to jazz up a virtual shop front than it is a bricks and mortar one. Having a smart, fast and useful website will give your customers a great first impression.
Many business owners worry that having a website will just be an additional task to carry out and will take too much time. Whilst it is true that it will be something else for a busy business owner to do, running an effective website is not as time-consuming as you might think. Your marketing budget will stretch much further when you are not paying for adverts in the local paper, or physical advertising flyers. You will be paying a small cost per month but you will be able to update people instantly on new products and services or special offers. The information on your website will always be up to date, unlike printed paper copies which are almost instantly outdated.
Most importantly, your customers will become your best advertisement. Your testimonial section or comments on social media channels from satisfied clients will do more for advertising your business than anything you can pay for.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to have a website for your small business. Make the jump now. Your customers are spending more and more of their time online. So should you.