5 Reasons Why Every Small Business Needs a Website

Are You Missing Your Customers?

All businesses should have a website these days. Yes, ALL of them. When I first joined the web hosting team, I couldn’t make that statement and believe it because surely there were cases where a website wasn’t necessary. At that time, I wasn’t completely convinced that all businesses needed a web presence. The Internet had made it pretty obvious that a website can be an asset to any business. An asset maybe, but a necessity? Well, maybe not. At least I believed that until one day when I needed to research a local retailer and they didn’t have a website.

I was visiting a homeopathic website to find a local retailer. I wanted to purchase their homeopathic products locally instead of ordering it online from the manufacturer. I was so excited to find a store within a mile from me. I immediately searched for them but they didn’t have a website. So how could I check their hours or make sure they still carried that brand or if they were still in business? Talk about total disappointment!

Immediately I thought, “Now what? Don’t they want customers?” I could call them, but I didn’t feel like it since I was on my computer. How much easier it would have been for me (a potential customer) to learn about that store if that retailer had a website.

Instead of calling, I decided to look up the next nearest store (which I think many consumers would do.) They had a website with the information I needed and more! They had their hours, location and the best part of their website was that they had photos of their store (so I knew what it looked like) plus they noted that they had “on site parking”! What a great idea to provide this helpful information for new customers like me. That’s when I realized having a website was an important tool in the small business owner’s arsenal and it is a necessity.

And that brings me to several reasons to have a website for your small business:

  • 1) Competition.  This is one of the strongest  reasons to have a website.  You know your competitors have a website.  I mean not only your local retailers but also manufacturers and online sellers use websites as a way to communicate with existing and potential customers. It doesn’t mean that all of your competitors have a web presence but probably at least one nearby has a website!  Don’t lose customers to them!  If you are local, adding a printable map showing your location is a great convenience for your customer.

  • 2) Convenience.  If you have printed business cards and have a stack of them sitting on your counter, think of a website as your new digital business card. If a customer misplaces your printed business card then they can conveniently find you when you have a web presence. They will be able to get even more information about you and your business that could never fit on your paper business card.  Just imagine if someone asks one of your customers for a recommendation. Don’t you want to be the one who is recommended? It would be great if your customer said, “I don’t have their business card but you can visit their website!”

  • 3) Credibility. I’m sure you’ve heard a professional looking website provides you with your first chance at making a good impression on a customer.  A website shows that you are committed to your business and the customer is important to you. You might find that customers are more willing to do business with you because you have a website. Think of it as making that website investment for THEM!

  • 4) Build Relationships.  You can find value in having an online presence by building relationships with customers via your website by sending them monthly emails or newsletters to stay in touch.  It is easier to get people to visit your website and understand about your business. It is also a great customer service tool where customers can reach you 24 hours a day, any day of the week, by e-mail. Replying to their emails is a great way to develop a relationship with them! Building relationships in business through a website gives you a strong advantage.

  • 5) Advertising. Now this is a good one with which to end my list.  A website can be a very inexpensive form of advertising. You can offer your customers much more information about your products or services on a website than other forms of advertising. You can make changes —seasonal or monthly changes reflected with  photos or prices or have weekend specials.  The sky is the limit!  You can send emails and publicize sales and special offers.  What about an online limited offer?  What a fantastic way of showcasing your business and keeping customers!

My experience provided me with some insights on the value and importance of a business having a website. What a great way to be able to communicate important information to your customers.  It’s like a silent partner, providing an easy way for your customers to learn about you and your business. If you want more customers, I hope these reasons demonstrate how customers and websites can produce amazing results together.  A website provides a great opportunity to expand your business.  I hope you will consider creating one today.

What are some of the creative ways you’ve used or seen websites used for business growth?

Benefits of a Company Website

Unfortunately, for most small business owners, creating a website can feel like just one more chore.

Take Bill Corbett, a parenting coach in Enfield, Conn., and owner of Cooperative Kids. Corbett has a full schedule – writing articles for his syndicated column, working on his book and teaching classes. Updating a website was the last thing he wanted to worry about.

But, he soon realized you have to be online to compete in this fast-paced information age. Since going live with his website and seeing how easy it can be, the feeling of hesitation fleeted. Now, Corbett uses his site to communicate directly with clients, sell products and publish articles.

63% of people use the Internet as their first resource when looking for a local service or product.

The bottom line is that every business should at least understand the benefits of creating a website. If, for no other reason, other than there are over 1.7 billion Internet users worldwide. What’s more, 75% of users said they purchased something online, according to Plunkett Research, Ltd.

With the amount of people surfing the Internet, it’s important to have an online presence. And a website is an easy way to do it. Just in case you’re looking for further proof, let’s consider a few more of the truths about doing business in today’s world.

Reason 1: People turn to the Internet for information

Consumers are savvier than ever these days. People put in a lot of time and effort to conduct detailed research before deciding to buy. In fact, 63% of people use the Internet as their first resource when looking for a local service or product, according to a 2009 Web visible/Nielsen study.

Of 3,000 people surveyed, 47% said they are more likely to purchase services or products from a small business with a website, according to a recent Discover Small Business Watch Survey. This indicates that people are more willing to trust businesses that have a website – but we will get to that later.

Additionally, putting your business online increases the chance that you will be listed in search sites, like Google®, Yahoo® and Bing™. This will help people find your business online and direct them to your website or store.

Reason 2: A website could bring in more money

Michelle Braun, owner of Final Touch Housekeeping in Aurora, Colo., recently told Vista print that she saw an increase in business after creating a website. Braun initially used flyers and other printed materials to promote her business, but customers kept asking for her web address. She soon got a successful website up and running in July 2009. “In the last year, we’ve probably done bids for 500 or 600 people, all contacted through our website,” said Braun.

A website will be an inexpensive solution, yielding great returns on your investment. And that’s what it’s all about. With over $3.6 billion dollars spent online in 2009 – it’s time to get in the online game. “In the last year, we’ve probably done bids for 500 or 600 people, all contacted through our website.”

Reason 3: A website will save you time

We understand the challenges micro businesses face every day. Fortunately, a website can dramatically lighten your load. Your site can tell customers your hours of operation and information on your products and services. You’ll spend more time running your business and less time on the phone talking about it.

Your website acts as your own personal sales team. It’s a place where customers can learn about your company at their convenience. While your store or business isn’t open 24 hours, your website is. This allows customers to find you at anytime.

Reason 4: A website will build your credibility

The truth is, with so many customers shopping and searching for information online, without a website, you could get passed-by. Simply having a website positions your company as more established and “with it.”

Plus, it allows you to give customers a visual sample of your products and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s a good chance your competitors probably already have a website, and that’s why you should consider creating your own. And, if they don’t, well, that just gives you yet another advantage over them.

Simply put, you need a website

Bottom line. An online presence will give you an advantage. For some, that will just mean a few more sales. For others, it could add up to a whole lot more. In fact, with only 44% of small businesses operating a website, now’s the time for your business to get online and distinguish itself from the rest.

Let’s recap on what a website can do for your business:

Help customers find you when searching online

  • •Sell products and possibly increase revenue

  • •Save your valuable time

  • •Give your business a professional look and more credibility

  • •Are you ready to create your own website? It’s easy.

Simply go to Pattenden Web Development Canada to take advantage of our Pro Plus Plan or Business Plan Choose from hundreds of designs and go live today!