Many small business owners either don’t have a website or do not get the most out of their online presence. This may be because they have been in the same location and have a big referral base, getting all their business by word-of-mouth.
Or they know that they should be getting online, but they have no idea of what to do or where to start, so have put it off.
Or they may have a website that was put up quite a few years ago and they have now become complacent, and now it looks dated with incorrect information.
According to inc.com…
“Fifty-five percent of small businesses don’t have a website”
There are many reasons why businesses are not making the most of the various digital marketing channels, and this is exactly why it presents such an opportunity to businesses that want to grow and leap-frog their competition.
There are a number of reasons why you should have a website for your business. Even if you have a small home-based business, you can benefit from having a website.
Advantages of Owning a Small Business Website
As for direct advantages, probably the most logical reason for building up your online presence is to increase the exposure of your product or brand. Regardless of what size business you own, a website can give you a much larger audience to promote your products and services.
You can expect to see a reduction in advertising and promotional costs once you start using your website to tell potential customers about your product. You can advertise various promotions, sales, feature items, new arrivals, discounted or discontinued sales, and a whole lot more with your website. Each of these promotional ideas would be costly if they were to be used in print or radio advertising.
Along with saving money on advertising, a website allows you to promote your business outside of your regular 9am to 5pm business hours. In fact, a website never closes which means your message, your product, and your business are out there and working for you online 24/7. Because of this, your business can potentially have a far greater reach than your storefront open five or six days a week. What this means is that with a website working for you all day and all night, more people will discover your business and what it has to offer… even when you are at home sleeping!
Easily add/update content
Another great advantage to having a small business website is the ease with which you can update or change content. If you have even just a little bit of creative talent, you can share those inspirations with your customers through your website. It also allows you a unique opportunity to interact with customers through a blog or other elements that can be added or updated regularly. For example, seasonal surveys, subscriber prize giveaways, guest posts and much more can be incorporated into the design and function of your website to keep you in touch with what your customers are doing, and it will, in turn, build their loyalty.
Even people who have never stepped inside your business may actually do so after finding your website. Think of your website as a virtual tour of your business – minus the hassle of finding a place to park. You can very easily showcase all of your business and what it has to offer to potential customers with a website. They get a chance to look your business over without having to go near it, and if they like what they see, they can visit you. New customers will start to support your business solely because of the introduction they received from your website.
A small business website will also give your business a touch of professionalism you can’t get anywhere else. A business with a website stands out from those that don’t, as it indicates that the business is professional and the owner/manager takes pride in the business and takes care to provide potential customers with the information they are after. Providing this information builds trust and loyalty with the customer, and can position you as an authority in your industry and location.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all website which means it can be as personalized to suit and promote your brand. Websites promote authority in the business world and with the popularity of handheld devices and tablets, a small business website allows your customers to find you via the platform they are already using.
Think About Your Own Browsing Habits…
These days, a small business website is considered an essential extension to your business, so if you don’t have one, then you are easily missing out on opportunities. Think about your own browsing habits… if you are looking for the services of a small business, (eg. A plumber or accountant) in your local area (eg. Bondi), then if you are like so many other people, you probably jump onto Google and search “plumber Bondi” or “accountant Bondi”. If you have a website, and it is set up and optimised correctly, then you can appear high up in the search results, meaning more eyeballs on your business.
You and your business need a website in order to stay competitive, current, and accessible. Without one, your small business will suffer as you won’t exist online and people looking for you there may not be able to easily find you. And with more people searching on the internet to find information, products, and services, if your business doesn’t have an online presence, then that search traffic (including leads and sales), will be going to your competition.