I don’t have to tell you that running a successful business is tough. You already know: you work hard every day pushing the envelope. I need not remind you that every move made can be the difference between success and failure; your every decision is weighed and measured. So, why start a business website?
A website creates a competitive edge
A website creates a competitive edge and increases awareness for your products and services. There are tons of businesses already vying for your customers. All businesses face competition. Even if you’re the only restaurant in town you still compete with cinemas, bars and other businesses where your customers spend their time, and more importantly, their money. With the increased use of the Internet to buy goods and services, and to find places to go, you are no longer just competing with your immediate neighbors. You could find yourself competing statewide, nationally, or even worldwide.
In today’s world the internet connects us globally. Interactions have never been so easy. When was the last time you needed something? I’m betting you found what you were looking for online, before you even stepped away from your home computer or smart phone. The Internet is changing the way we live and gather information. It’s certainly changing the way we find our goods and services. The internet has revolutionized the way businesses operate and communicate with customers. If your customers can’t find you online, they will certainly find your competitors.
A website makes it easy for customers to learn more about your business
A website makes it easy for customers to learn more about your business and at their own pace. Through your website, you can tell your customers (and potential customers) more about your products and services without them having to phone you or take the time to meet with you in person, saving you both time and money. Not only will your website be there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (yes, even holidays!) with the possibility of reaching millions of people every day, but it will make it possible for your customers to contact you outside of your normal business hours.
Your website, designed and created by Walter Websites, is still working for you while you are at leisure or asleep.
Did I mention the money that a website can save you? One of the largest expenses for a business can be designing, printing and delivering marketing materials. Websites are faster, simpler and definitely more cost-effective to update than print-based media. You can keep your website current, more affordable, and easier to manage than any other media.
You could spend hours trying to come up with the right words to fit a limited space. A website is a medium with unlimited possibilities. On a website you can have pictures, details and prices of your products and services. You can include the very latest company information, hours of operation, and maps indicating the location of your store(s). Your website can supply your staff, suppliers and business partners with important and timely information. Almost any printed item can be converted to a web page and distributed by e-mail at far less cost and time than any other medium.
A website creates measurable results.
A website creates measurable results. It allows you to track the number of visits and where they came from, e.g. an online advert or search engine. It can record the number of inquiries or online sales in the case of an e-Commerce site, thus producing a ratio of inquiries to visitors which gives the conversion rate. With this information you can take steps to improve this ratio and increase sales.
When I talk with small businesses owners, I often get the question: Do I still need a website if I have social media?’ Absolutely. Social media sites can be a great way of reaching new customers. However, for a small business, it can be very challenging and expensive to cut through all the noise. Platforms like Facebook that now have over 1.59 billion users, make competition for likes and clicks very difficult for businesses. There are a number of drawbacks to only using social media to promote your business online.
The Draw Backs
Firstly, social media sites regularly change their algorithms, and this can affect the reach of your posts. Unless you have a lot of spare time to dedicate to understanding these changes, it’s not a great idea to solely rely on Facebook (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to promote your business. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your business is reaching a large audience just because Facebook has a large number of users. Only a small percentage of the users that interacted with your page see your posts regularly.
Unless you’re willing to pay to play you are out of luck.
Use your website as a comprehensive, competitive and informative way to meet and exceed your businesses goals. Reputation is incredibly important when you are a small local business. Even if your business only covers a small geographic area, it is highly likely your customers are talking about you online. Use your website to control the narrative.