With technology so ingrained in our everyday lives, one of the first thoughts a small-business owner typically has is “I need a website.” Everyone has a website, but why is that? Why do I need a website?
These are all common questions and this article will answer them and many more. We’ll clear up some common misconceptions and help your business decide if having a website is right for you.
So what if I don’t use computers for my business? Or what if I don’t have a product to sell on my website?
That’s perfectly okay. Even if your business doesn’t involve computers or the internet directly, a website can still provide you with an incredible amount of value, which we’ll take a look at.
Why Your Business Needs a Website.
- Customers come to you. You don’t have to spend your time trying to find customers by making cold-calls or other means. With a website, your customers are seeking you out, and because of this they are already predisposed to having an interest in your products. With other methods you can spend tons of time and money finding potential customers only to find that they aren’t interested in your products.
- A larger audience. A website allows your business to have a global audience. No longer are you limited to the people who see your ad or happen to drive by your shop, the entire internet is your audience.
- It never closes. Your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if you don’t have products for sale on your site, it can still act as an informational brochure for your business even when your business is closed.
- Interact with customers directly. Your website can help automatically build a customer database, which you can then directly interact with using mailing lists. Again, these are customers or potential customers who you know are already interested in your products, saving you money and time
- Cost efficient. When compared to other, traditional forms of advertisement, websites are a relatively cheap investment. Beyond the initial investment, a website typically costs anywhere from $20 – $100 monthly to maintain. This is several times cheaper than an ad in the phone book and typically seen by many more people.
- More informative. Again, compared to other advertising formats, a website can give your customers hundreds of times more information than a print ad could. With a print ad, you’re limited to a certain amount of physical space. With a commercial, you’re limited to 30 seconds of air-time. This isn’t the case with a website as your space is essentially unlimited.
- Your competitor probably already has one. As we mentioned, it seems as if everyone has a website. Anything that makes your competitor easier to find gives them a huge advantage. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you, and having a website is a relatively simple way to do so.
- Improved image. A website can help ad a sense of professionalism to your business. Having a well-designed and professional site will give you credibility in the eyes of your customers.
- Experimental advertising. Let’s say your business wants to try advertising a product that you’ve never advertised or you want to advertise in a way you never have before. If you did this using traditional advertising channels, it could prove to be very costly and result in little return. When using a website, however, you can try out as many different things as you want for free, and if your customers don’t seem responsive you can switch easily switch back.
So there we have it; the basic reasons why every business could use a website.
Have any questions or other reasons we left off the list? Feel free to let us know in the comments!