In today's modern era of smartphones, tablets and laptops you would think that any small business owner today would want their business to have a website so potential new customers can find their business. But surprisingly, that's not true. According to a report commissioned by domain hosts GoDaddy, 60 per cent of businesses with five employees or less simply aren’t moving forward in this digital era.
Of the 500 small businesses polled, 54 per cent of those without a website say that their reasons for not having one are because they feel it is unwarranted, due to an estimated lack of growth for their business.
However, 60 per cent of smaller companies who have their own site report that they expect their revenues to grow immensely in the next three to five years.
So what are the benefits of investing in a website for your small business?
1. You Only Get A Matter Of Seconds To Make A First Impression
With around 80% of us now researching a product or service online before purchasing, it stands to reason that potential customers would see your website first before visiting your physical store, or speaking to you or a member of staff. Therefore, having an inviting website packed with all the information they need will attract them to buy online or visit your business later.
2. A Powerful Sales Tool
Beyond just making basic information (address, phone, hours, etc.) immediately available to your visitors your business website gives you the ability to address your customers’ needs and concerns. You can also offer them expanded information and convincing calls to action. By personalising your website, you can offer your customers special deals and limited items, specifically for them.
3. Look Established and Ready for Business
A well designed website can make your start-up business look like it's been around for ages or a smaller business look much bigger than it actually is.
4. Become the Authority in Your Sector
When you create compelling content, you build your brand and you build authenticity & authority with the search engines as well as your visitors. They then know who they can trust on the Internet and who they will visit first. And if they visit you and trust you, buying from you is not far behind. Your blogs, your articles, your general information and product descriptions show that you know your subject and your information is trustworthy.
5. Great Way to Build Your Email List
By adding calls-to-action and sign-up forms to your website you are able to automate the collection of email addresses to add to your email marketing list. Creating well-written and optimized content will compel visitors to become leads and even buyers. Legitimate email addresses can be hard to come by but you can make it easier for visitors to sign up because they are interested in what you have to say.
6. Analyze Your Efforts by Reviewing Your Analytics
By adding an analytics tool like Google Analytics you’ll have a powerful tool that will inform you of your visitors, their locations and demographics and so much more. Without a website, you will not be able to track this information and won't necessarily know where your customers are coming from.
7. Boost The Visibility Of Your Business
As a small business owner it's important to get your business name out there to as many potential new customers as possible to keep a steady supply of sales coming your way. Whatever line of business you are in, you will be found by more people if you have a website than if you don't and although they are not free they are certainly worth the money.
8. Improve Your Advertising Effectiveness
Placing your website address on all your promotional materials will help you gain additional exposure and encourage visitors to first check your site for the information they are seeking. Just by distributing your website address you’ll be expanding your reach and offering more than one promotional avenue to your audience.
9. Save Money on Printing and Distribution
A website can act as your online brochure or catalogue that can be changed or updated at any time. If you use a content management system (CMS) you can make changes quickly and at no charge. The images and content are bound by the size of the printed page or cost of the printing. With a flexible website, you can add new content at no cost.
10. Easy Access to New Customers
You can have your existing customers refer your site to their friends and relatives using only your web address. Also, random or “organic” visitors who come to your site via an online search will find you and stay with you if they find what they are looking for. Search engines are powerful tools and search engine optimisation tools can help broaden your websites visitors.
11. Own Your Internet Identity
Your own domain name (www.yourcompany.com) establishes a strong online brand identity. You can also set-up a personalised email addresses for the business, yourself and your employees. This helps to build your brand.
12. Easy to Use and Always Up-To-Date
If maintained properly your website will always be up-to-date and current. Even a busy business owner can make updates and edits, easily, from any computer. You won’t have to pay a programmer every time you want to change a date or add a product. Save your money for large projects or redesigns. Never again will a customer need to point to an out-of-date price and claim they “saw” it on the website.
13. Mobile-friendly Design
There was a time when small business owners only had access to a website that was best seen on a desktop. If you wanted a mobile website you’d have to recreate the website in a mobile format or create an app. But now it's standard practice to make websites “responsive”. Responsive websites allow your information to be seen on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The site “shrinks” intelligently so all your information can be read clearly. Always require responsive design when having your website built.
14. Improve Productivity
A website increases your company’s productivity because less time is spent explaining product or service details to customers because all this information is available 24 hours a day on your website. This “self-serve” opportunity will give you more time to engage with your customer and better serve them.
15. Educate Your Customers
Your website can offer free advice about your products and services. This information can be delivered in a well-thought-out and consistent way. Some visitors might take a quick glance and place their order quickly while others might review and analyze every inch of your product before they make a purchase. By adding loads of quality information or videos to your pages and products you can satisfy both.
16. Expand Your Market
The Internet allows businesses to break through geographical barriers and become accessible from anywhere in the world. Selling products online has become cheaper and easier for you and your customers.
17. Extend Your Local Reach
By extending the local reach of your brick-and-mortar shop or business premises to consumers around the world you are open for business 24/7 – 365 days/year. You can provide your customers with all the information they need to make informed decisions. Local search has been a high priority for Google in the last few years and they have created tools to help you market your business to desktop and mobile visitors alike.
18. Promote & Sell Products & Services
Provide photos and detailed descriptions of your products or services. Explain to your customers why your products or services are superior. Show visitors how your products or services can help them in their personal or professional lives. By updating your offering periodically you’ll keep on top of the search results and pique the interest of your customers as new products become available.
19. Promote Your Brick and Mortar Footprint
When customers and potential customers are out and about they will still be able to find you via their mobile phone. Your phone number, address, directions and hours of business, etc. can be made available for mobile users so they can find you as they are on the go. Today, the majority (60%) of searches are now done by mobile devices vs. desktops. This means that customers won’t be looking you up at home, they’ll be searching for you on the road.
20. Use Specific Pages as Training Aids or Sales Tools
If you have spent time creating great content on your website there is no need to reproduce this information in a static or printed form. You can use product information pages to teach or train staff, vendors and customers. Printed material has limits, creates waste and eventually goes out of date, but your website is always fresh and up-to-date (assuming you keep it that way).
21. When You Change Locations
If you move your business to a new location your customers can still find you because your main marketing tool, your business website, is easily accessible. Your website is flexible and if your search engine optimization is done properly your business will appear to online visitors who search for you.
22. Great Tool for Finding New Employees
You can post job opportunities for available positions and applicants can investigate your company and apply online.
23. Encourage Two-Way Communication
By employing chat tools your customers can quickly and easily contact you with questions without even sending an email. You can also set up forms and surveys on your website that will allow your customers to send feedback and opinions.
24. Improve Customer Service
Perhaps the most important benefit of having a business website is to improve your customer service. Information requests can be processed immediately and electronically. Special deals and bonus buys can be positioned on the site and broadcast through email and text messages. Customer reviews and concerns can be gathered online and action can be quickly taken.
If you still don’t have a website, your business is at a huge disadvantage. We can help you develop and launch a new website whether it’s your first website or not.
Contact us today for a no-obligation quote to build an exciting new website for your business.