The Benefits of Having a Website
Here are just a few benefits that come along with creating a usable website for your small business.
You stop being invisible.
I'm not trying to be flippant, but by creating a website you stop being invisible to the people trying to find you online. More and more studies are telling us about the ROBO effect where customers are learning to research online before buying offline. They're typing their problems or needs into the search engine of their choice and are researching the companies that appear for those queries. If you don't have a Web presence, there's no chance of you showing up and you never even enter into their thought process.
You create another sales tool.
A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers' concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action. Sure, you can keep placing ads in the Yellow Pages and hope that word-of-mouth generates on its own, or you can build something that inspires it to happen. Your website is your home turf where people can go to seek out trusted information about your company and engage with you on a more personal level. Use it to build confidence in your brand and to give customers important buying information (and incentives).
You build credibility.
Though the Web has been around for some time, it's true that you didn't always need a website to find your audience. It was a lot easier to market via direct mailings, Yellow page ads and local word-of-mouth. However, today your website and your social presence are the factors that customers are looking for when they research a small business. They want to know that you're stable enough to have a dedicated Web presence. That you'll be around tomorrow should something go wrong. That they can get hold of you when they need to. By creating a website, you set up shop on the Internet and show customers that this is where they can come to find information about you, to read articles that you've written and to learn more about your company. All of these things build credibility. Without a website, you're at a huge disadvantage.
It's amazing to me that in 2013 we're still making a case for small businesses to have a website. It's comparable to making a case that all businesses should have phones! But alas, there really are small business owners that don't get it, and probably never will.
Juan Carlos Gomez
For us is very simple, if you don't have a website nowadays is like if you didn't have a business card 10 years ago.
I agree wholeheartedly with you. As an online marketing firm, we are constantly explaining to businesses why they need a website ? the HUB of their online presence. A new objection is that having free Facebook page can replace a website. But in our view everything should connect back to your home base, the website.
Another thing I will add is the common undervaluing of content. Not everyone is a good writer, let alone a persuasive marketing writer, so investing in help to create good, effective and optimised content is just as important as having the site itself.
Here are two additional barriers that may prevent some small business owners from creating a website. (1) Some owners are not comfortable with technology. This is common in some of my website clients. But if a business owner finds the right web designer, he/she can guide the process and explain the unknowns. (2) Cost ? some business owners may think it will cost a lot to develop a website. But actually there are many great low-cost, professional looking options like Holistic Webspace.
Ilene Rosenblum Guttman
For many businesses, if the website brings in even one or two additional customers, it pays for itself! If you're in business, you can't afford NOT to have a website.
Absolutely a website is a must for a small business. you are more likely to get the work if you show much more information about you and your business. Customers want to know more about the services or products you offer.
I find it strange that the 47 percent who don't have websites, look to the web if they want to find a business?
Small businesses should definitely have a website when starting up. Its a great way of promoting their brand and if optimised correctly can generate a lot of new traffic. It may take some time, but if you are patient the long term results are significant.