Caught up in the prevalent craze of making your online presence felt, you often wonder if your small business needs a website. At some point, either a client, an employee or a well-meaning friend must have questioned the lack of a .something suffixed to your business name. The question is even more pressing in case you own a local businesses.
To answer your question: no, every single small business need NOT have a website.
Surprised? Well, take the case of a restaurant we chanced upon the other day. It is a small, pleasant place owned by an elderly couple. The restaurant was a post-retirement project they undertook, just to earn a little something in all the free time they have. But they also want to pursue other leisure activities, and definitely do not want to turn away even longer queues of waiting diners on weekends. For owners of such a business, a website, which would invite an ever-increasing number of guests to their restaurant, would do more harm than good.
Perhaps for every other kind of small business that wants to grow with the passing years, a website is essential. Here are the 5 most compelling reasons why:
1. It helps customers talk to you
Basically, a website acts like a 24/7 receptionist for your business, at a fraction of the cost. It lets you introduce your business, products and services. It enables customers to access your contact information and get in touch. It lets them find you through GPS, social media, review websites and other online modes. Maintaining a blog on your website also allows you to talk to your customers informally and read their comments, thus establishing a relationship.
2. It helps you gain credibility
It is not uncommon to hear, “I’m not sure this business is for real. It doesn’t even have a website.” A website gives you credibility and alerts Internet users to your real-life presence. Featuring testimonials will further enhance your credibility. But don’t get tempted to add fake testimonials; customers are intelligent, and if they find you out, you will be deemed a fraud forever. Instead, when real people talk about your business, it creates a desirable impact on your prospects.
3. It helps you control your business image
Even if you don’t have a website, it is quite likely that people are already talking about your services on social media and review sites. A website helps you monitor and control the conversation. It lets you communicate your message to them without distortion. Although the democratic nature of the Internet will show up negative comments as well as positive ones, your website will let you make your voice heard above them all.
4. It helps you promote your business
A business website helps you maintain top-of-mind recall. It gives you a platform to talk about your latest deals and offers. The best part is that your website helps you turn customers into brand ambassadors – for free! If you update your website regularly with fresh content about your industry and services that they can actually use, you will keep your customers engaged. This is especially true for local businesses; writing about activities and interests in your vicinity would make you a favorite among visitors. They will then visit your site again and again and recommend you to their social circles. If you extend your message to social media, you can reach even more prospective customers. At the end of the day, your website offers you wider market reach at a lower cost than any form of offline marketing.
5. It helps you to remain competitive
It is incredibly easy and inexpensive to build a website today. Don’t take the risk of losing your business to more Web-savvy competition. Even if you are well-established in your field, taking the support of an online presence never hurts. If anything, it gives you an edge that your brick-and-mortar business can never give. By setting up a simple e-commerce platform, you could even sell local goods to a global audience. Your website could add a new revenue stream, perhaps more secure than your physical cash counter.
All said and done, the secret formula to successful websites is great content. Even the most beautiful websites will fail unless you back them up with regularly updated content that your customers can use. This is where we can help. Superscribe will work with you to create content that is relevant to your target audience and offer suggestions on how to make it Web-friendly. We can help you express your brand message and project a distinctive online image to stand out from the clutter.
The scope and budget for your website is totally up to you. We can create a basic three-pager to simply make your presence felt on the Web. Or we can offer you a regular supply of well-researched, quality content to keep your customers engaged. All this without burning a hole into your marketing budget.
Contact us to discuss your small business website and receive a free content audit today.