Every small business owner often asks if their small business should have a website or not. They have been asking this question for quite some time. Why? Because they often need to differentiate between expenditures that are necessary and those that are not necessary.
Considerable number of small business owners believe that having a website seems unnecessary as they perceive to be a luxury. They often think they can run without it in times of today. There are some who believe that having a social media presence only is beneficial to help catch prospective customers.
This was true in the old days. If businesses are to have an online presence, then they need to have a broad range of such (like a website, social media handle & the like). Everyone knows today’s world is mobile and websites are now mobile optimized with relative ease too.
The business’s website is its online business card and it is a must have for all business. It provides internet searchers information about the business, their portfolio and what they can do for them. Such information is valuable.
With the internet and associated technologies evolving faster than before, seasoned professionals from Web Design Company in Chicago reveal the reasons why small businesses should be having a website of their own:
1. A website gives the business a credible image
If a business does not show up in search engines, then it will make prospective customers skeptical about its existence. They often ask if the business is real, or not, is a scam, was involved in wrongdoing and the like because a website’s presence also helps customers post reviews about it on both the website and the search engine.
No business would ever want to be perceived as ‘not credible’ with or without an online presence. Having a website will certainly give it credibility. Moreover, a well designed and well-structured website will make the business stand out from the crowd and give it more credibility among customers, businesses and authorities.
2. It forms the basis for strong marketing
A website helps give potential customers a point from where they can have additional information about the business, its portfolio and its ownership, before the business can print an ad in the local paper or print flyers.
The website itself acts as a pillar for the promotion and advertising the business does. In online marketing efforts, it brings customers directly to it and there they can see what the business offers (its hours, owners and contact information).
3. It gives a medium where the business can showcase itself
Websites give business the ability to showcase both existing and prospective customers, the products and services they have to offer. It also gives the business the ability to add customer testimonials about their work which in turn, gives it the ability to present to everyone its unique selling proposition (USP).
Let’s face it; a website is an online brochure available round the clock (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all round the year). Even if the office/store is closed, it is still viewable.
If you are a seller of parts for Toyota SUVs and Trucks and have a big shop and a website; your customers will always get to see what you offer, even if your shop and warehouse are closed. It gives customers a broader time frame in deciding what they need to buy and vice versa.
4. The business can update its customers with relative ease
A small business can update its information on the website with ease and hence update customers accordingly. If the business wishes to run a discounted sale campaign, it can present such update on the website and let the customers know accordingly.
If the business carried out repairs to its office/shop/warehouse, then it can present the same update on its website. With the world being mobile today, push notifications for the website will let customers know of the same accordingly.
In fact, the same mechanism also works whenever a business updates its portfolio, or contact information, or name by notifying customers accordingly.
5. It is a medium of helping the business connect with existing and prospective customers
If someone today faces any issue with anything, say an overheating laptop; the first thing they will do is to find the solution to the issue on the internet. If a computer repair business has an online presence, then the customer can connect to it without hesitation.
All that website needs are a professionally designed site and good quality search engine optimization (SEO) to show up in search engine results. This will open the business up to both new & prospective customers.
For businesses that are physical stores selling goods online as well; having a professional website in the form of an online store (e-commerce) will help customers buy what they need online and make secure payments through secure online payment channels.
Such e-Commerce websites should provide customers updated, accurate and useful information that will convince and compel customers to buy from their store whenever they need something.
6. It provides local businesses numerous benefits
Whether the business is a small local ‘Mom n Pop’ store, a medium sized trading company or a giant corporation, if it has a website then it can connect with locals with relative ease. A considerable number of American households use the internet as a source of information when shopping for products and services locally.
Local businesses have an added advantage. Whenever customers in their area look for them online, search engines rank results based on the location and provide customers local listings for that business in their area.
Suppose a customer is looking to buy a pair of Nike Magista cleats from a nearby Nike store. When a user searches for them and a nearby Nike store, internet search engine results shows the user both sellers and stores nearby.