As incredible as it may seem, there are still some businesses that do not have their own website. They probably assume that they do not need a website. There is no doubt whatsoever that they are wrong, and this is why…
Many local businesses that do not trade online do not have a website. They are usually, though, not completely invisible on the web. They could have a Facebook page or be registered on a directory such as Yell.com or Google Local.
This is not enough and should not replace a standalone business website.
If your business sells products from a shop then you are relying on people coming into the shop when it is open during the day. Many shops are happy with this arrangement and it’s the way things have been for hundreds of years, but they could be missing out on a lot of online sales which can be purchased 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Creating a huge shopping site such as Amazon is beyond the reach of most small businesses. A simple ecommerce-enabled website is not expensive and, though it may not be a business’ main source of income, a few sales each day can add significantly to the profitability of a business.
Websites have lower overheads, remember. No sales staff, no heating costs, no time – just the website processing the order for you. All you have to do is fulfil the order.
Another reason many retailers are put off selling online is they think this means competing against Amazon, eBay and other major online retailers. Amazon is cheaper on a lot of mainstream items such as books, CDs and mass consumer products but, if your retail business is in a niche market, it is possible to sell goods at a lower price than Amazon. One example niche is board games. Amazon sells mass appeal board games such as Monopoly and Scrabble at discount prices. Less mainstream board games, such as Euro strategy games and military games, can be purchased cheaper than Amazon from specialist game retailers, some of which are small family-run businesses operating from a garage or small warehouse unit.
It’s not ALWAYS about cost either. Customer service, choice, customer experience and loyalty to play a part.
If I am looking for a local tradesman, such as a plumber or electrician, then I will find a lot of them listed in sites like Yell.com or Google Local. If you are tradesman, what makes your business stand out amongst the crowd? The answer is your website. Even though Yell.com may be the first site that potential clients visit, most will want to visit your website afterwards to check you out. They will either be impressed by pictures of your past jobs and customer testimonials, or they’ll be impressed by what your competitor has to offer. Who do you think they’ll call?
Your business may be profitable with your existing customer base. You may think that you have enough clients. Very few businesses, however, do not wish to expand or make more money. A website is an essential tool for recruiting more clients.
Some small businesses think that a website is too expensive. A basic four or five-page website does not have to cost that much. You can even create one yourself with a simple website builder that costs very little and that requires no knowledge of code. This is not recommended, as a website designed by a professional website designer will look a lot better than one based on a web builder template. If your website looks mediocre, this reflects negatively on your business.
Whatever industry your business is in, we’re sure you’re very good at it. What would you tell your clients or customers if they planned on using an amateur or a free service instead of using you? It’s much the same with website design.
Any money invested in a website should be recouped through the increased sales that the new website generates.
A website is essential for all businesses, small or large. It is a means to find new customers as well as create lasting positive relationships with existing customers.
Talk to us at Engage Web to find out how we can grow your business with a professionally designed website.