Why every business should have a website

by | May 27, 2015 | Business, Website

Did you know that two-thirds of people on earth have never seen snow? Let’s hope that some of them have at least heard about your business! Let’s take a look at the reasons why you need to be online! 

 

People search first 

What if I told you that by not having a website, you’re sending your competition business? Some say it’s not true but let’s take a look at just how easily it is done…

I don’t know about you but when you’re looking for something in particular to purchase what do you do first? If you’re anything like me and most prospective customers you’ll do some research to find the best place to buy said item and compare prices/reviews etc. That’s usually done online since that beats walking from shop to shop and not to mention saves time! If you don’t have a website then you’re not found. If your competitor has a website they do get found and chances are, your prospective customer will buy from them instead of you since they don’t know about you. Congratulations – you’ve just handed your competitor some business all without doing a thing!

People today expect businesses to have websites and that’s why they start searching online before heading in store. If you don’t have an online presence then they can’t find you and that is just not something you should do to yourself, your business or your mission in life!

 

Checking You Out

Just like searching for sellers of an item a potential client might be looking for, the next step in the purchase process for most people is to check you out. They want to find out more information, read reviews, compare prices and packages and work out for themselves whether or not your business/product/service is exactly what they need.

Having a website gives you an opportunity to place all of this information right in front of your prospective customer and lets it be found at one of the critical stages of the buying process. It helps them make an educated decision and gives you the ability to help them reassure themselves that what you offer is right for them.

 

Easy Access to Information

One of the great things about a website is its ability as a communication tool. You can provide easy access to information such as your phone number, location and other key pieces of information that you know your prospective or existing customers are looking for. It makes it easy for them to find.

 

You can be Open All the Time

That’s right! Even while you sleep! The digital world isn’t governed as strictly by real world limitations like “opening hours” or the human inability to be working 24/7. Your business can be open for business even while you sleep, go to that yoga class or even having a relaxing day off because you earned it. How great is that! That’s one thing I really love about my business website! It can do the work while I am doing work or having some time to myself!

 

Think Beyond Local 

No longer are you limited by your location. A website can expand your horizons and let you reach people on the other side of the planet. You don’t have to rely on customers in your immediate vicinity any more to sustain your business. If your product is shippable or digital you can be a global business! Of course you don’t have to if that’s not your thing but the potential is certainly there. You can be free to dream bigger than you may have permitted yourself before! No business is too small to have a website (that includes you too solo entrepreneurs who are reading this)!  

 

Your Professional Image

Your website gives you a prime opportunity to establish and enhance your professional image. A professional image enables you to build trust and boosts your reputation. These are two key factors a prospective customer users to determine whether to consider you as possibility.

In fact, it is even possible if you wanted to be a little sneaky (I’m not advocating this by any means) to help influence people into thinking your business is larger than it really is.   

 

You can take on the Big Guys

If nothing else, the internet has been one the best and biggest technological advancements that has levelled the playing field between small and big business. Your website can position you right alongside some of the bigger brands so that you now at least get a look in and a shot at some of their prospective customers. You’re not held back by not having enough money to run a TV campaign any more.

 

Gives a taste of what it’s like working with you

One often overlooked advantage of having a website is the ability to let prospective customers know what it is like working with you or dealing with you. And no, I don’t mean reviews or testimonials. Your website is your opportunity to show prospective customers a glimpse at your customer service. You can show them how much you think of them and their needs for example by supplying comprehensive FAQ sections or useful and timely articles/guides to help them with your product/service or just in general.

 

A Very Important Communication Tool

A lot of business owners think a website is just a place to put some general information about their business, their contact details and a link to their products/services but it can be soooo much more.

You can use your website as a useful and might I say a rather wonderful communication tool for your current and prospective customers. You can request feedback, run surveys to help better your products/services for your customers and get that information right from them.

You can add a publishing platform for useful information, to help educate your customers, or to help you attract the kinds of customers you’d love to be dealing with! Publishing platforms are also another great way to keep in touch with potential or existing customers.

 

It’s a Cost Effective Marketing Tool

As I hinted to above, no longer do you need huge budgets to run a TV or print campaign like the big guys! A website is one of the most cost effective ways to get in front of your potential and prospective customers. A website should be one of the key tools in your marketing toolkit especially since we are now in the internet age and since, as mentioned at the start of this article, people search first.

Your website gives you the opportunity to persuade potential customers that your product or service is right for them. You can update it in real-time, you don’t have to worry about costly print re-runs or waiting for your allocated timeslot on TV to come around to start seeing the effects of the marketing pay off. Get the marketing done right on your website and it will help you greatly!

 

Time for some examples of businesses and how they use their websites…..

 

A Naturopath Business – Leisa Skerman

http://lsnaturopathbrisbane.com.au

 

Naturopath Website Example

How she uses her website:

  • Online presence so people can find her
  • Provides all the information her potential customers are looking for:
    • What she does
    • How she does it
    • Success stories (proof her products and services work)
  • Show’s she cares about her customers by having:
    • Faq’s
    • Recipes (great for existing and potentials) – keeps people returning
    • Blog – again, great for both attracting and also keeping in touch with prospective and existing clients.
  • Visual styling show she’s professional and speaks volumes about who she is
  • As a marketing tool – conveys her brand message and promise, she shows you exactly who she is and what she’s about, tells you everything you need to know including ways to get in touch.

 

 

Fish and Chip Shop – Seafood Lovers Café

http://www.seafoodloverscafe.com.au/

Seafood Lovers Cafe

How they use their website:

  • Online presence so people can find them
  • Provides all the information her potential customers are looking for:
    • Menus
    • Location
    • Contact Details
  • Show’s she cares about her customers by:
    • Thinking about what they are looking for when looking for a shop or what they might do with their products (e.g. recipes)
    • Having recipes (great for existing and potentials) – keeps people returning
  • Visual styling shows quality of food which is important in their industry
  • Connects on an emotional level with customer (hungry just looking at the delicious food)
  • As a marketing tool – conveys the brand message and promise, tells you everything you need to know including ways to get in touch and what they have on the menu.

 

 

Craft Business – Rachel Black Millinery

www.rachelblackmillinery.com

Craft Business

How she uses her website:

  • Online presence so people can find her hats
  • Provides all the information her potential customers are looking for:
    • What she does
    • Her collections (what’s available)
    • Shop available for purchasing
    • Stockists so they know where to buy it from if they don’t want to buy direct
  • Show’s she cares about her customers by having:
    • Faq’s
    • Easily accessible information
    • Mailing list to keep in touch
  • Visual styling show she’s professional and speaks volumes about who she is
  • As a marketing tool – conveys her brand message and promise, she shows you exactly who she is and what she’s about, tells you everything you need to know including ways to get in touch.

 

Common Objections/Myth Busters

 

“I can’t afford it”

This is probably the most common one I hear. I’ll answer this question with a question – can you afford not to? If you ask yourself what your business means to you and how far you would be prepared to go to make it successful – would you still answer “I can’t afford it”? At the end of the day when all is said and done, you’d give everything to be successful so why would you hold your business back by not having a website? Websites pay for themselves pretty quickly with the rewards you gain from new customers, more sales and greater exposure. I think the maths speaks for itself!

 

“But I don’t sell anything online?”

Doesn’t matter! A website as we have seen in this article is so much more than a shop. As a business that sells in the physical world, you want to attract people to your store, gain exposure and help stay in touch with your customers and potential customers. All of these things are possible with a website.

 

“I’m Already Busy! I don’t need a website”

There are some website designers who would say that you wouldn’t need a website but I think that’s a bit of disservice to you. There are quite a few reasons why you too still need a website:

  • Sure, you’re busy now but what about when that dies off in a month, few years etc?
  • To help streamline and save time so you can keep on delivering your outstanding product/service and keep on developing and growing!
  • Cut down on phone calls with answers to common/frequent questions online. Use your website to help you with better customer service (e.g. order online, faq’s, menus, articles answering common questions, reservation systems to name a few)
  • Run any competitions you have more easily.
  • Keep in touch with everyone more easily

 

“I don’t sell to the public”

Business to Business search online too! Don’t forget there is a person behind every business who is tasked with searching for what you offer. Sure things need to be tailored differently but at the end of the day, the principles are the same!

 

Hopefully this list has helped you make the best decision for your business. If you think this article would help anyone you know please feel free to share it with them!

Stacey

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