This might come as a shock, but almost 50% of small businesses do not have their own website.
Or, it might not come as a shock. This statistic means that half of all business owners reading this article have no website. They may have another form of web presence — directory listings, a Facebook page, other social media accounts — but they don’t have a ‘www.’ address.
In this digital age, underestimating the value of a website is dangerous. Whether you are a toy manufacturer or a small business accountant, the internet of things is a marvellous tool for any business owner, so to avoid harnessing its potential could risk stunting growth or even fading into obscurity. It is very easy to create a website. We have plenty of informative guides to help your builld your blog or website easily.
Your business needs a website. Here is why:
1. The Power of eCommerce
Online shopping is now the undisputed king of retail. Over 70% of people regularly shop online.
Sure, plenty of people still shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but the growth of the online world also means many others simply don’t bother anymore. If you are a retail business but don’t have an online store, you are missing out on a large number of consumers who do the majority of their shopping from the couch.
Creating an eCommerce website — a website that allows for items to be displayed, bought and ordered solely online, such as Amazon — is vital for any retailer.
2. Enhance Your Reputation
Nobody wants to be known as an old-fashioned business. People expect a certain level of sophistication from a company operating in the modern day.
For lenders and investors, not having a website smacks of a business behind the times, stuck in the old ways. Money is attracted to new ways of thinking; to evolution, not bygone practices.
Customers are similarly critical. Not having a website erodes some of that competitive edge you have over rivals that operate sites by making them appear more current and customer oriented.
3. Provide Valuable Consumer Information
Where do people go for information now? They don’t check directories or listings in the local paper; they check the internet.
Maybe they want to see when your opening times are, what events you have coming up, if you offer a specific service, or perhaps they recall seeing you had a sale on, but can’t quite remember.
A website provides vital and instant access to information valuable to the consumer. If they cannot access it, they may not use your business, looking elsewhere instead.
4. Reach New Audiences
A local business allows you to operate and sell within the confines of your setting. You may reach out-of-towners when they come by. You may reach some others through word of mouth. But primarily, you’ll be selling to those in the local vicinity. This is incredibly limiting.
The amount of people available to sell to is finite, especially compared with the nation, or perhaps even the world. The internet covers the entire globe; anyone can access your website.
With a website, your reach is only limited by two things: Your advertising campaigns and your shipping policy!
5. Open 24 Hours a Day
Unless you run a superstore, you aren’t going to be open 24/7 — but your website is.
Having a website means you can be making money every hour of every day. People can access your business, buy products, sign up for services, make enquiries, all while you are sound asleep.
This is a unique benefit to websites; not something that can be achieved through any other process.
6. Become More Approachable
The modern person isn’t always a fan of personal interaction. With so many other aspects of their lives to pay attention to, having a full-on discussion about your business or services might not seem very appealing.
More people prefer to email than call and plenty more would rather have access to information they can use in their own time.
Only having a physical location that customers can visit to learn about your business can be intimidating. A potential customer can easily be put off using your services if they don’t want face-to-face interaction at a certain time.
Catalogues are an expensive way around this problem. They are also less appealing than a website, as information has to be sorted through, rather than being presented through menus. A better and more cost-effective solution is a website, filled with easily accessible information that people can look at whenever they wish, even when they don’t feel like having a chat.
7. Showcase The Unique Benefits of Your Business
A website is a powerful tool for your sales arsenal. It allows you to lay on the heavy sale, without coming off as aggressive or desperate.
Your website is the perfect opportunity for you to show off what makes your business so great. Here, you can write blogs about your achievements or display them on your front page, like you would in a shop window. You can also use visuals to draw attention to your finest products and call to actions — pieces of instructive text — to try and persuade people to use your business.
If somebody came into your brick-and-mortar headquarters and you suddenly started trying to show them your best toys or get them to sign up to your small business accountant services, they’d be very put off. On a website, however, you have the ability to use different language and sales techniques, without offending or scaring customers.
Don’t put “BUY NOW!” on every page, but do include more sales and promotional talk than you would use when talking face-to-face.
8. Cheaper Advertising
Advertising your business through print and television is incredibly expensive. Costing thousands, they can be completely unaffordable for many businesses.
Web ads can be bought for as little as £5. Running adverts through Facebook and Google, for example, is a cheap and cost-effective method of bringing in potential customers. You can also use other methods, such as banner ads, sponsorships and video advertisements on platforms like YouTube.
Not only do these ads have the potential to reach billions of people, but they are also dirt cheap when compared to traditional marketing campaigns. But, if you advertise on the internet, you must have a presence on the internet. It is no good offering a web advert that doesn’t go anywhere. Having a website allows you to link up your ads and bring customers to your business.
9. Maximise Profitability
What does every other point on this list have in common? It streamlines your business.
Whether it is bringing in new customers, attracting investors or reducing costs, a website does one thing above all else: it helps boost profitability. It’s something that is guaranteed to please your small business accountant — any small business accountant will tell you a website is a key factor in sustainable finances.
Without a website, you lose so many vital components that make up a modern day business masterpiece. Look at every single successful brand in the world today. They all have a website.
Your business may be small, but that doesn’t mean it has no place on the internet. A website is important for every company, so make sure you set up one for yours.