So, you’re asking yourself “why do I need a website”. Everyone else has one right? Sure, everyone seems to understand that they need a website, but can they articulate why?
Here’s 14 reasons your business needs a website.
#1 – Beat Your Competition
About 60 percent of very small businesses don’t have websites! If you run a very small business, your website can give you an immediate competitive edge against 60% of your competitors. If someone is searching online for your service or product and you’re online and your competitor isn’t, who do you think is likely to get their business?
#2 – Online Brochure
Before the internet, you needed to print and distribute brochures. This is not to say that printed brochures are now obsolete, but you can skip the printing process entirely by using your website as a digital brochure. You will still need to use digital distribution methods, but the savings on printing can really add up!
In terms of distributing your digital brochure, there are many different options such as social media, email campaigns and search traffic.
#3 – Find More Customers
Apparently a lot of people use the internet. About 2.4 billion in fact. 90% (2.16 billion) of those 2.4 billion people have made a purchase online or contacted a business online in the past 12 months. Can your business afford not to be online?
#4 – Perceived Business Value
When you go to find a business online and can’t find anything, what impression does this give you? Positive? Neutral? Negative? I’d wager you’re leaning toward negative. When a business isn’t online it gives the impression that it’s very small, behind the times and not a serious business.
#5 – Influence
What other platform gives you the opportunity to easily influence and educate thousands of potential customers?
#6 – Show off Your Work
Your website is an amazing tool for showcasing your work. An online portfolio is now a necessity for builders, architects, photographers, designers and so on.
#7 – Makes You Think About Your Business
When it comes time to write content for your website it will really make you think about your business. You may begin to reassess some business goals and really think about the benefits your business provides it’s customers.
#8 – Low Barrier of Entry
While the cost of getting your website professionally done isn’t necessarily cheap, it is in comparison to running a bricks and boards business.
#9 – Your Website Works 24 Hours a Day
Your website is always there for your customers. It can answer their questions, take their orders, give them information and a lot more.
#10 – Streamlines workflows
Your website can streamline workflows in a number of areas from content creation to invoicing to shipping. For example, I use a plugin on my website called Sprout Invoices to handle all of my invoicing. It saves me hours of time each month and can’t imagine going back to the way I was invoicing before.
Another example is on a client website they were calculating all of their shipping on orders by hand. I set up their new website to automatically calculate exact shipping costs, thus saving them hours of time each month.
#11 – Customer Communication
It’s easy to get in touch with your customers through your blog. You can present new offers, promotions, events and much more.
#12 – Marketing
Your website is your most powerful marketing tool. It allows you to communicate with your customers, educate your customers, nurture leads, capture new leads and grow your business.
#13 – Customer Support
You website can function as a customer support tool and reduce the amount of time you spend on customer support. For example, FAQ pages can help your customers find answers to commonly asked questions without taking up your time.
#14 – Credibility
Demonstrating your credibility is easy to do through your website. You can add client testimonials, business partners, client lists, examples of your work and educational material.
Now you should clearly understand why your business needs a website. When you do decide to consult with a professional web designer/developer (like myself) make sure they understand the above points and really try to understand your business and it’s customers. Your website is about a lot more than just a pretty design just as your business is much more than the bricks and boards that it sits in.