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 dont use a computer, neither do your potential customers. These are misconceptions. These 8 reasons show why your company NEEDS a professional website, no matter what size your business.
1. 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.
2. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU MONEY
As a small business owner you probably think you cant afford a professional website, but you cant afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once its 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.
3. 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 Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
4. IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
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 todays busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
5. A WEBSITE 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. Dont think you will be able to sell your products or services online? Dont forget, even cars and houses sell online!
6. IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM ON WHICH TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
No matter what type of business youre 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.
7. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
Providing information to your customers takes time, whether its 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!
8. IT IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE
Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and would like to share tips on how to recycle, or perhaps you are an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their bookkeeping practices. By including a FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers questions you can keep them up-to-date. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.
Prospective clients can find you: This is one of the most important reasons to have a business website. People are looking online for your services. When they search, will they find your business? If they can’t find you, they can’t hire you.
Prospective clients can learn more about you: People want to know more about the people they’re considering hiring. For B2B service professionals, this is especially important because even when you meet people in person, they will look you up online to learn more about you. When people search for you online, they should find a professional website that provides information about you and your business.
You can convey your credibility: If someone is considering hiring you, they’ll want to know about you, your background, and your experience. A good business website should include an “About” page that provides this information as well as testimonials about your work.
You can showcase your solutions: As a service professional, you help clients solve specific problems and your website can show prospective clients how you can help them (and if your business doesn’t help someone with a specific problem, you might need to rethink your business!).
You can share your expertise: A website with a business blog is a great way for you to share information about what you know. This gives prospective clients an opportunity to learn more about how you can help them. A blog also helps with search engine optimization, since it helps search engines to find your website and serve it up in the search results, which will drive more traffic to your site.
Generate leads: Once someone finds your site, make it easy for them to contact you. Prospective clients should be able to fill out a form, pick up the phone, find an email, or otherwise contact you easily so that you can follow up with them
Serves as a hub for your social media profiles: If you are not yet using social media, you should reconsider that decision. Social media is a great way to ensure that information about your business and services can be shared online, making it easier for people to find out about you and how you can help them. Your website then becomes the glue that holds it all together
Collect contact information from people interested in your services: Wouldn’t it be great to have access to a list of people who are interested in your services and who have voluntarily given you permission to contact them about how you can help them? You can do this with newsletter signup form on your website.